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NYU, Poly partnership moves forward

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Economic crisis or not, New York University has big plans for Downtown Brooklyn.

The Manhattan-based institution recently signed an affiliation agreement with Downtown Brooklyn’s Polytechnic Institute to jumpstart their dormant engineering school.

“In Downtown Brooklyn we now have an affiliation in MetroTech with Poly and ultimately we expect for Poly to become a school of NYU over the course of years,” said NYU spokesperson John Beckman.

“The affiliation which we hope and expect will grow into a consolidation, will serve both institutions very well,” he added.

Beckman said the consolidation will work for Poly as it will enable the school to connect to a major research university with a national and international reach in terms of recruiting students and faculty,

“For NYU, the consolidation connects us to a school of engineering which we have not had since the early 1970s, allowing us to recruit students who are interested in pursing engineering, and permitting our basic science faculty to collaborate with the Poly faculty, who are experts at applying science,” he said.

According to the NYU Plan 2031, said Beckman, the school anticipates expanding by some 6 million square feet by 2031.

Of this expansion, about half, or 3 million square feet, will be developed around the current NYU core campus in the Greenwich Village area.

The other 3 million square feet is expected to be divided between NYU’s current medical facilities in the upper 20s of Manhattan, Governor’s Island and Downtown Brooklyn.

“At the moment there are no specific building plans, but we look at it [Downtown Brooklyn] as a location that would be natural for future growth,” said Beckman.

Beckman’s comments come after officials from both Polytechnic and NYU gave a presentation at the September Community Board 2 meeting.

According to the official minutes of that meeting, Polytechnic Vice President for Administration T.C. Westcott explained that although affiliated, the two schools maintain separate finances and boards of directors.

Over the next five to 10 years, Poly will align its procedures and policies with NYU, she said according to the minutes.

When asked at the meeting if more student housing will be constructed, Westcott responded that there are currently 1,500 students at Poly, and the school’s dormitory accommodates 412, not all of which are students at the school.

Westcott said that additional capacity may be needed in three or four years.

CB 2 member Andrew Lastowecky then asserted that NYU has a deficit of 20,000 dormitory beds and asked about possible dormitory construction in Brooklyn.

Westcott responded that Polytechnic retains 790,000 square feet of unused development air rights for the school, but they would probably be used for academic space.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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