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Features and Funding for the Campus Master Plan

Manhattan College’s master plan is fully underway, with the aim of drastically changing the campus landscape as students and staff know it.

According to Andrew Ryan, Vice President for Facilities, the plan consists of over a dozen projects. These will include classroom renovations to Hayden and De La Salle Halls, the installation of a full theatre in Smith Auditorium and the installation of offices in the now-residence building Chrysostom Hall among other upcoming changes.

“The campus Master Plan has many components that are planned to be developed over the next ten years,” said Ryan in an email statement.

Additional aspects of the project are set to arrive on the college’s south campus alone, namely the construction of a new eSCI (STEM) facility, renovations to the Leo Engineering Building and the addition of a quad-like green space just off of West 240th Street.

A new apartment-style residence hall will also be constructed on the current site of the Mahan Physical Plant Complex.

Andrew Weingarten, Director of Residence Life, confirmed that the project will also impact current student housing on the north campus as well.

“I know from the Campus Master Plan town hall meetings that the plan considers the needs of the older residence halls,” said Weingarten via email.

Some components of the plan have already been completed for some time, including the new Center for Student Success in Thomas Hall and Walsh Plaza in front of Draddy Gymnasium, yet many more are still in progress or slated to arrive over the next few years.

These costly updates have left many students wondering if their scholarships or future cost of attendance at the college may be impacted by such renovations to the campus.

According to Vice President for Finance and CFO Matthew McManness, such a scenario will not be the case.

“We will accommodate this expense in our existing budget through refinancing existing debt,” said McManness via email.

The school is currently funding the master plan via three sources: donations made to the institution through a fundraising campaign, a bond issue, and funds already set aside within the college’s         operating budget.

These three sources are anticipated to cover the project fully, as the college has not reconsidered going ahead with any components of the plan due to potential funding issues at this time.

Projected costs for some of the developments are still being finalized; for instance “changes in the project scope” of the upcoming residence hall has left the development without a final estimate as of late. Yet expenses for some components of the plan are already being worked out.

“First phase for the [eSCI] project is $70 million and includes several aspects of the project including parking a building connector to Leo, a new atrium for Leo, infrastructure improvements, etc.” said McManness of the upcoming south campus installations.

At any rate, the college is optimistic about the plans coming together, although they are still subject to change.

“Typically for each aspect, you would identify the need, a potential location for a new building/renovation, a general scope […] and then as the specific project starts to develop, you drill down to the details and finalize location, scope, program, timing etc. as it meets the current and planned future needs of the College at the time that you are developing that project” said Ryan.

“It is also normal in a master plan process for the timing or scope of some projects to change as the college’s forecasted needs change […] nothing is final until you turn the key in the door.”

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