Cornell plans wrestling center addition, new academic building


first_img Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at [email protected] More by Brian Crandall Designs for the facility show a masonry and steel structure similar in design to the current facility, with a two-story glass-enclosed practice gym and fitness center, as well as a shorter structure where the film room is. The Columbus Ohio branch office of Moody Nolan Architects is the project architect.Meanwhile, a short distance to the north, Cornell is planning a much larger project, one that will host a variety of academic and research units. The yet-to-be-named building will house Cornell’s Centers for Cancer Biology and Immunology, Department of Computation Biology, Masters of Public Health Program and the Atkinson Center.If that seems like an unusual combination, Cornell’s project team says it’s purposeful.“These programs are all working to address urgent global challenges through broad engagement of colleagues across campus and across continents.”The Atkinson Center would be on the first floor, Cancer Biology and Immunology on floors two and three, and Computational Biology on the fourth (top) floor. The project will also include the installation of small plazas, pathways, gardens, and the usual retinue of stormwater facilities, outdoor lighting, signage and landscaping.Though drawings for the building itself aren’t available, a rather complex building footprint is included in the sketch plan documents. The 90,000 square-foot structure will be about 60 feet tall (floor-to-ceiling heights are often very tall for research buildings due to lab equipment and heavy-duty utility systems), necessitating a height variance from zoning. Whereas the city groups Cornell under its own U-1 zoning to keep conflicts to a minimum, Cornell’s campus is zoned as low density residential by the town, which only allows 36 feet in height and requires a special permit because it’s not residential (and nothing on Cornell’s Central Campus has been residential for 25 years).Although there are no building renders available, previous work by Lake Flato Architects, the Texas-based firm listed in project documents, suggests a modern architectural design is likely. Lake Flato is known for an emphasis for sustainability in its building designs, so expect something that exceeds Green Building Policy standards.This plans to be presented Tuesday are only sketch plans intended to elicit feedback from the Planning Board about what they are comfortable or not comfortable with, and any concerns they will want addressed moving forward. Site Plan Review and State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) would likely take place during the fall, with approvals at the end of the year or early next year. The multidisciplinary building would begin construction in June 2020 and be ready for occupancy by August 2022. Tagged: athletics, cornell campus, cornell wrestling center_img Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from: ITHACA, N.Y. — Outside of student housing, Cornell’s construction activity has been relatively quiet the past couple of years. However, if the latest plans move forward, that relative quiet on Central Campus will be ending shortly.Plans to be reviewed Tuesday night by the Town of Ithaca Planning Board ask for comment and approval for a pair of university construction projects. The first is an expansion of the wrestling center on Campus Road between Bartels Hall and the Robert J. Kane Sports Complex (the running track). The second is a new multidisciplinary academic building to be built on what is currently a parking lot on Tower Road, just east of Rice Hall.The Cornell wrestling program is among the university’s better known and lauded athletic units, with eight finishes in the top-five of the NCAA Division I Wrestling tournament, 38 Ivy League Champion titles (17 consecutive as of 2019), and at least four wrestlers who have gone on to compete in the Summer Olympics. The wrestlers utilize the Friedman Wrestling Center, a 1,000 seat arena and fitness facility built in 2002, for their workouts and matches.The proposal from Cornell would expand the 15,000 square-foot facility an additional 5,500 square feet. The additional space would be used for locker rooms, a practice gym, fitness space, film room and other wrestling-related functions. To make room for this facility, about half of the existing on-site parking lot would be eliminated, while the remaining portion would be reconfigured, along with new stormwater facilities. Showers and training rooms in the existing building will also be renovated. The team roster and arena will not be expanded, and Cornell expects that guests will use the parking garage or other nearby parking lots when attending matches (most matches take place during evenings or on the weekends, when fewer faculty and staff are on campus).Since the facility expansion is an institutional expansion of less than 10,000 square feet, no environmental review is required. However, because the parking lot extends into the city (the wrestling center property straddles the city-town line), a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be required between the city and town so that the town has the lead on issuing building permits. The planning board may also need to approve skinnier than usual parking spaces – the town zoning code requires 180 square feet, but the property currently uses 136-153 square feet, and would strongly prefer to stick to those tighter spaces for capacity’s sake. Brian Crandall last_img