With a ceremonial groundbreaking May 5, construction of the new Maplewood housing complex for graduate and professional students and their families is underway.
When opened in August 2018, the 17-acre complex will include 441 units and 872 beds in a mix of townhouses and apartment buildings. Nearly tripling the number of residents on the site, the housing will allow students to live in a planned, walkable neighborhood near the university.
“Having access to affordable, sustainable housing near campus is vital to student success,” said Cornell President Martha E. Pollack. Celebrating this “milestone in addressing the housing needs of Cornell’s graduate and professional students,” she noted that the town of Ithaca and the school district also will benefit, since the buildings will be on the tax rolls. In addition, the buildings’ sustainability features include all-electric utilities, the purchase of 100 percent renewable energy, on-site storm management and Energy Star certification.
“I am also enormously impressed that this project has proceeded in a highly collaborative way, with students, local officials, Cornell’s real estate staff and the developer working together to ensure that the end result will meet everyone’s needs,” Pollack said. “We could not have reached this milestone without countless hours of hard work by many people.”
She extended her thanks to Cornell staff, faculty and students; staff from the city and town of Ithaca, board members and planning board members; neighbors who participated in public meetings and provided feedback; and the developer, EdR Collegiate Housing.
Nathaniel Rogers, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, said graduate and professional students were “invited to participate early in the design stage and set many of the original goals that made their way into the final plan.”
He recognized Jeremy Thomas, senior director of Cornell Real Estate, for not only keeping graduate and professional students informed, but making them partners in the project. “I truly believe that Maplewood will be the gold standard by which the GPSA will measure its future collaborations with the Cornell administration and outside partners like EdR, and for that I think we should all be very proud,” he said.
Joel Malina, vice president for university relations, highlighted the work of Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, who has been a “staunch supporter for graduate and professional students and an absolutely tireless advocate for providing students with affordable housing near campus.”
Bill Goodman, supervisor of the town of Ithaca, said the new development provides much-needed housing in a way that is responsive to community input regarding aesthetics and sustainability. “The town of Ithaca looks forward to welcoming the graduate and professional students and their families as new neighbors,” he said. He thanked all those involved thus far, including EdR and the contractors moving forward.
Tom Trubiana, president of EdR, added, “We are absolutely proud to be Cornell’s long-term partner on this new and exciting affordable housing project.”