Huge new dorm complex planned for Cornell campus

A mammoth North Campus dormitory complex planned at Cornell University eventually will enable the college to require all freshman and sophomores to live on campus.

The City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board on Tuesday night declared its intent to serve as the lead agency in the environmental review of the dormitory project.

Housing for an additional 2,000 first- and second-year students would be provided by the complex. It also would allow for the maintenance and renovation of existing dorms and lead to the on-campus living requirement for the younger students.

The sophomore project on the North Edge of the campus would add 800 beds as well as replace the campus' existing dining hall. The first-year dorm on the western edge of campus would add 1,200 beds.

One existing building and two sports fields would be demolished for the project and nearly 400 parking spots also would be eliminated. The project designers — Kathryn Wolf and Kimberly Michaels of Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects — say a traffic circulation study showed most students do not travel to North Campus by car, so impact from the parking reduction would be minimal.

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