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As Dean Dan Huttenlocher puts it, Cornell Tech came into being “at warp speed.” Less than six years after the University won a competition to build an applied sciences and engineering campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, Tech’s first three buildings opened in time for the fall 2017 semester; its initial academic programs began in 2012, housed in temporary Manhattan quarters donated by Google. The newly completed first phase of construction consists of a main academic center, an office building for companies that aim to collaborate with Tech researchers, and a residential tower for students, faculty, and visitors. Some 300 master’s and PhD students are currently enrolled, pursuing degrees in a variety of tech-related fields including health technology, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, operations research, and connective media; the campus also offers business and law programs geared toward the tech industry. By 2043, when Tech is fully built, it is expected to comprise two million square feet of space, more than 2,000 graduate students, and hundreds of faculty and staff. The next building scheduled for construction: the Graduate Roosevelt Island Hotel, which will have nearly 200 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, a rooftop bar, panoramic views of Manhattan, and some 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space when it opens in 2019.
‘If Ezra Cornell were alive today,’ Robert Harrison ’76, chair of the Board of Trustees, said at the dedication ceremony, ‘he would be Cornell Tech’s biggest supporter.’