Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating a whopping $US100 million to Cornell Tech, he announced during a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning.
When the campus opens on Roosevelt Island in 2017, it will provide a permanent home for an entirely new graduate school that city officials hope will position New York City as a major tech center.
The school was born out of an initiative created by Bloomberg himself. In 2011, Cornell beat out top-notch schools like Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford in a competition to create a new graduate school focused on classes in computer science, business, and entrepreneurism.
The donation, which was made through Bloomberg Philanthropies, will go toward constructing the graduate school’s first academic building. The building will be called “The Bloomberg Center,” in honour of the former mayor’s daughters, Emma and Georgina Bloomberg, the New York Times reported.
” Thanks to former Deputy Mayor Bob Steel for pushing the applied Sciences competition and Cornell Tech” – former Mayor Bloomberg
— Eric Gertler (@ericgertler) June 16, 2015
Eight degrees will eventually be offered, three of which will be dual master’s degrees from Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The three degrees will cover “connective media,” “healthier life,” and “built environment.”
The idea is that classes will position students to use technology to solve problems faced by various industries in New York City and the world.
A recent $US133 million gift from Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan, created The Jacobs Institute, which will offer dual-degrees in the applied information-based sciences.
Cornell Tech has received $US685 million in philanthropic donations in total, according to the New York Times.
The buildings themselves will be pretty high-tech, too. The architects hope to achieve net-zero energy in the academic building by installing solar panels on its roof. They also plan to install a system of 400 geothermal wells that will heat and cool the campus.
Construction began earlier in June on a residential “Passive House,” a type of building that uses advanced insulation and ventilation techniques to reduce energy consumption. The tower will be 26 stories tall and have 350 residences.
The school also recently announced plans to build a startup incubator called “The Bridge.” Noted investor David Tisch was named the head of the school’s Startup Studio in December 2014.
The entire campus will span 12 acres of land on Roosevelt Island. When completed, the two-million-square-foot complex will house approximately 2,000 full-time graduate students. The campus won’t be completed until 2017, but until then, a group of 11 engineering students enrolled in the new program are working out of temporary classrooms in Google’s Chelsea offices.