The Warehouse, top, and buildings on Genesee Street, above, will house academic and arts-related programs and be part of the University’s Connective Corridor. At right is a conceptual design of the atrium that will link the Center for Science and Technology and the Life Sciences Complex.

 

The University’s Space Plan expands campus to engage the world through academic collaboration and enhance teaching and research needs

By Patrick Farrell

Chancellor Nancy Cantor, in her address “Building the Creative Campus,” identified engagement with the world as a critical initiative for the University. “We have significant precedents for engaging the world in all of our professional schools and in University-wide internship programs,” Chancellor Cantor said. “We should take our traditions even further, aggressively connecting to the world through active engagement with community, industry, practitioners, governments, and the professions at home and abroad.”

Building on these traditions of engagement with the world will not only require the active involvement of the University community, but also an infrastructure that will support this world-embracing challenge. The University’s comprehensive Space Plan has evolved and moved steadily forward during the past several years and further strengthens the Chancellor’s vision. It will expand and enhance the physical dimensions of the campus, increasing the amount of academic space driven by the real needs of the schools and colleges and providing state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities. These upgraded facilities will enable SU to foster scholarship in action, develop ideas to be tested in the marketplace, and engage the world as a leader in such areas as biological research, environmental systems, management, and public communications.

By 2010, SU will have spent roughly $260 million in new and renovated academic space on campus and in the city—a huge commitment of talent, resources, and energy in the center of upstate New York. “The University and its trustees have approved this plan to keep Syracuse competitive with its peers in the short run and positioned for excellence in the long run,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “This is an investment in the future of the University and all the communities it serves.”

The funds come from a number of sources, including bonding (about $160 million), allocations from annual capital projects (about $11 million), fund raising (about $45 million), and New York State support (about $22 million). SU officials say that the investment will yield priceless dividends, creating more and better opportunities for student learning and faculty achievement, and that Syracuse will continue to attract high-quality students and faculty members as a result.

Some of the plan’s more conspicuous elements are virtually complete—such as the new Martin J. Whitman School of Management building, which was dedicated in April, and the University Avenue garage. These examples are just a prelude to the overall physical improvements that soon will transform every corner of this campus. The improvements reflect the University’s commitment to preparing students for the global challenges of the 21st century. To fulfill this commitment, the University needs additional—and improved—classrooms, studios, labs, and research facilities. “The Space Plan is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the University’s facility needs,” says Associate Vice Chancellor Michael Flusche, who has guided the plan’s development for more than five years. “We’ve tried to make the plan as responsive as possible to meet the immediate needs of a number of academic units, while at the same time working within a long-term strategy to move forward in a cost-effective manner.”

The Space Plan, coordinated with the University’s Academic Plan, will ensure that the facilities meet the University’s demanding academic objectives. “The Academic Plan outlines goals and objectives critical to the success of a private research university,” says Arthur J. Lidsky, president of Dober, Lidsky, and Craig Associates (DLC), a Boston-based campus and facility planning firm and consultant to the University on the Space Plan. “It also strengthens the notion of giving special nurture to programs that can be among the top five or 10 in the nation. By upgrading its facilities, SU significantly improves the chances of making that happen.”

Working with DLC, Flusche and Christopher Danek, assistant provost for academic facilities, determined that the University would have to add 1.3 million gross square feet of non-residential space to expand from an average of 390 square feet per student to the peer average of 480 square feet—the equivalent of adding three Bird libraries.

With the arrival of Chancellor Cantor, the University’s space planning took on a new dimension, with proposals to create a University presence in the heart of downtown Syracuse and build on natural connections between the city and the campus. The renovation of a West Fayette Street warehouse, near Armory Square, to create space for the School of Architecture, the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Communications Design and Advertising Design programs, and the Newhouse School’s Goldring Arts Journalism Program; the construction of the Connective Corridor, which will link arts spaces between the Hill and downtown; and new facilities for SU arts programs on West Genesee Street will all channel the energy and excitement of the Chancellor’s Creative Campus concept directly to the Central New York community (sumagazine.syr.edu/spring05/features/feature1/index.html). In launching her Creative Campus initiative, Cantor was careful to make sure the downtown projects complemented what was taking place on the Hill, and that downtown planning would not infringe on the resources needed to realize the Main Campus initiatives. “Discovery and learning at Syracuse University cannot be defined by boundaries—physical or disciplinary,” Cantor says. “The rich partnerships we are building downtown are generating new opportunities for us to learn and test our ideas in the marketplace. The knowledge gained by these endeavors adds to the on-campus learning experience. That, in turn, injects energy into our downtown initiatives. It’s a win-win equation.”

According to Vice Chancellor Freund, the downtown acquisitions effectively pay for themselves by saving on-campus relocation expenses and expediting construction schedules. “In fact, the Chancellor got the construction ball rolling by acting decisively to move central administration from the Tolley Administration Building to Crouse-Hinds, and to create a center for the humanities in Tolley,” Freund says. Along with the domino effect of space swapping at Crouse-Hinds, Tolley, and several other locations on campus, there is construction scheduled for a new life sciences center, a third building for the Newhouse School, and for the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, which will be headquartered downtown.

The following provides a glimpse at where the bricks and mortar are being placed.

            Ellenzweig Associates
  The Life Sciences Complex, viewed here from College Place, is scheduled to open in fall 2008.  

Life Sciences Complex

Perhaps the single most impressive new campus project is the proposed addition to the Center for Science and Technology (CST). The $107 million Life Sciences Complex, scheduled to open in fall 2008, will add up to 210,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space to the existing building, more than doubling CST’s size. Its purpose is to bring the College of Arts and Sciences’ biology, chemistry, and biochemistry programs and the Structural Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics Graduate Program together under one roof to enhance collaborative research and education among these programs (see related story). This, in turn, will significantly strengthen the University’s focus on two exciting areas of scientific investigation: cell signaling and environmental systems. “The Life Sciences Complex marks a new era of scientific exploration and teaching at Syracuse University,” Cantor says. “Through interdisciplinary collaboration, students can learn firsthand the nature of research from faculty whose discoveries have the potential to change our world.”

The building’s design will set a new standard for how universities optimize space for biology and chemistry teaching and research, with ample collaborative space, the latest in laboratory design and technology, and space assignments designed to encourage interdisciplinary activities. “The Life Sciences Complex, along with the many new faculty we have hired, allows us to remain competitive nationally and internationally,” says College of Arts and Sciences Dean Cathryn Newton. “It also heightens our scientific visibility. The complex will not only attract world-class researchers, but also foster interdisciplinary scientific collaborations.” The complex, designed by Ellenzweig Associates, a Massachusetts-based architectural firm, will contain two wings—one for research and one for teaching—and an atrium that connects to CST. “The hallmark of the Life Sciences Complex is the complete integration of undergraduate education and faculty research,” Newton says.

             

        Steve Sartori
  The Whitman School of Management building was dedicated last spring.  

Whitman School of Management Building

The Whitman School’s critical shortage of classroom space was answered last spring with the completion of its new $39 million, 160,000-square-foot building. Located on University Avenue at the north end of campus, the six-story structure adds about 85,000 square feet of classroom and office space, making it the single largest addition to the University since Eggers Hall in 1993. The Whitman School and the University moved forward with this project thanks largely to generous alumni and donor support. “Once we moved into the building, we discovered that the planning team and all the people involved did a marvelous job in the selection of the technologies for the classrooms and the design of the classrooms,” says Whitman School Dean Melvin T. Stith G’73, G’78. “We believe we have the state-of-the-art teaching facility in the country for a business school today. Every room is multimedia—allowing us to videostream people in from almost any place in the world, which makes learning very exciting for students.” Stith adds that he is grateful to the many Whitman School alumni whose generosity led to the quick completion of the building. And because one-fourth of the new classrooms are reserved for all-campus use, the entire University benefits immediately from this addition.

 

Crouse-Hinds and Tolley Buildings

The completion of the Whitman School building made the school’s former home, the Crouse-Hinds Building, available for other uses and ultimately provided an expedient solution to another looming issue—the renovation of the Tolley Administration Building. “Seven million dollars was set aside for the basic restoration of Tolley—essentially to ensure the aging, weakened structure remains standing,” Flusche says. “That’s a considerable amount of money, which the Chancellor felt strongly would best be spent restoring Tolley for use by academic programs, instead of the central administration.” As a result, all of Tolley’s current occupants—including the offices of the Chancellor, Academic Affairs, and Admissions—are now located in Crouse-Hinds.

Under the direction of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Tolley building will be reconfigured to provide office space for about 25 faculty members from a variety of academic programs, as well as seminar rooms, classrooms, and meeting spaces. As the Public Humanities Center, the restored building will serve as a University link to the upstate New York community through integrative programming and interdisciplinary research. The target completion date for the new center is spring 2007. “We’re still putting together the administrative structure of the humanities center,” says Gerald Greenberg, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The architectural planning is being fine tuned, and, in addition to office space for 15 or so humanities center fellows, the center will include space for public receptions.”

Steve Sartori
tolly
  The Tolley building, top, will become a center for the humanities, while the Crouse-Hinds Building is now home to the offices of the Chancellor, Academic Affairs, and Admissions.

 

Hinds Hall, Link Hall, and the
Center for Science and Technology

Perhaps the most intricate part of the Space Plan, at least in terms of coordinating moves, involves a space swap between the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) and the School of Information Studies. This exchange allowed the School of Information Studies to consolidate its programs under one roof, while giving ECS additional laboratory space in the Center for Science and Technology. Renovations are now under way to make Hinds Hall the new home of the School of Information Studies; ECS will be housed in Link Hall and CST. But moving the entire School of Information Studies into Hinds will require a series of highly choreographed steps—at least six—to relocate the building’s current occupants.

To facilitate the changes, the Hinds’ renovation, designed by Syracuse-based Ashley McGraw Architects, is being done in several phases. First, Hinds is being gutted, leaving only the exterior walls. It will then be renovated to create one of the most “wired” buildings on campus. In addition to hosting numerous computer servers and high-end information technology programs, Hinds will house the Center for Natural Language Processing. As exemplified by the soaring, two-story atrium of the new common (known as the “Hi-Bay”), the renovated hall will have an open feel as well as space designed specifically for collaborative work. The new, improved Hinds Hall should be completed by December. 

In Link Hall, Toshiko Mori Architect of New York and Einhorn Yaffe Prescott Architecture & Engineering are working on the first phase of the Center of Excellence project and the relocation of the civil and environmental engineering laboratories. Meanwhile, architect Mike Wolniak ’78 is developing a number of practical and aesthetic enhancements to Link Hall and the space in CST that will house ECS. His goal is to create an environment that is more comfortable and conducive to collaborative research and more in keeping with the quality of facilities found at leading engineering schools.

 

Syracuse Center of Excellence

Intimately connected with the ECS and School of Information Studies’ relocation process is the creation of the first phase of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems in Link Hall. A $10 million grant from New York State will cover the cost of equipment and renovation for this program, which is designed to simulate the effects of various products and substances on indoor air quality. “The programming for phase two of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, the new headquarters building, has begun,” says Eric Spina, the Douglas D. Danforth Dean at ECS. “We will move some laboratories from Link Hall to the new Center of Excellence headquarters building downtown [scheduled for completion in spring 2007], and some of our faculty members will have their primary offices there as well.”

In general, Spina says, the Link Hall laboratories will be more academic and fundamental in nature, while the downtown laboratories will focus more on work with industry partners and commercialization initiatives. “This will give faculty and students opportunities to work closely with industry on projects that are transitioning from the fundamental to the applied,” Spina says. “The headquarters will be a place where government, academia, and industry work together to transfer technology, which, in turn, will help the companies that help our region.”

Slocum Hall

Changes in technology are also driving the School of Architecture’s need for more space in Slocum Hall, but creating new space there is nearly as involved as the Link-Hinds Hall move. Because of the extensive nature of the Slocum renovation, the building will be vacated to reduce disruption to academic programs and overall construction time, thereby saving significant amounts of money.

During the Slocum renovations, the School of Architecture will move to The Warehouse, located downtown near Armory Square. Gluckman Mayner Architects, led by Richard Gluckman ’70, G’71, chair of the school’s advisory board, is renovating The Warehouse, creating design studios, classrooms, offices, and galleries. “As the project moves forward, it’s exciting to see the progress,” says School of Architecture Dean Mark Robbins G’81. “When you visit the site, it’s fantastic to look up and see what used to be a cold-storage warehouse being transformed into an open grid. The windows aren’t in yet, but you can already see the transparency of the finished building. I can imagine this in just a few months—we’ll see students at work with lights on late into the night moving in front of these windows. It will really be an active space, and that’s always the way the project has been imagined.” Robbins adds that The Warehouse will not only be a hub of activity for the Armory Square area, but it will also serve as a reminder of SU’s presence in the city.

The Slocum Hall renovation, designed by Garrison Architects, a New York firm, will restore Slocum’s sky-lit, four-story atrium and center hall, and may eventually include restoring front stairs and a grand entry to the College Place side of the building. Work on Slocum Hall will progress in phases, with project completion slated for 2009.

Other Slocum tenants, including several programs in the College of Human Services and Health Professions, will be moved to other locations.

        Polshek Partners
  The Newhouse School complex will add a third building in 2007, increasing space and opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations.  

Newhouse III

Plans to expand the Newhouse School complex were unveiled in 2003 on the occasion of a $15 million gift from the S.I. Newhouse Foundation. That gift allowed the school to move forward with Newhouse III, which will increase available classroom and office space and add an array of new facilities designed for collaborative, multidisciplinary training. Completion of the new addition is scheduled for spring 2007. The entire project will cost about $28 million. “We put the plans out for bid this summer, and we will break ground in November,” Newhouse Dean David Rubin says. “The building promises to make the Crouse entrance to the campus a spectacular introduction to the Hill.” Rubin adds that the facade that frames the plaza will complement the original I.M. Pei building (Newhouse I), while the facade that looks toward Crouse and Crouse-Hinds is a sinuous glass structure that hugs the contour of the Hill.  “We think the ‘wow’ factor will be great,” Rubin says. “Our architects, Polshek Partners, have delivered to us just what we hoped we would get.”

 

Other Projects

The University has planned a number of smaller-scale improvements as well. The acquisition of storefronts on the 900 block of East Genesee Street, just north of campus, will expand VPA’s Department of Drama by moving several offices and functions into the newly acquired buildings. That, in turn, will free portions of the existing building, connected to Syracuse Stage, for use as practice studios.

In addition, the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company and the Community Folk Art Center will move to newly acquired space at 804 East Genesee Street, bringing them closer to downtown and the University.


 

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