Monday, July 15, 2013

How Will Cornell NYC Tech Commitment To Roosevelt Island Community Be Enforced? - CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee Public Meeting Tonight To Discuss The Issue

Manhattan Community Board 8's (CB 8) Roosevelt Island Committee will be meeting tonight to discuss the Cornell NYC Tech project. According to the CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee:
Meeting Date:
Monday, July 15, 2013 - 6:30pm
Meeting Location:
Manhattan Park
4 River Road, Community Room,
New York, NY

Submission by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to the Manhattan Borough Board pursuant to Section 384(b)(4) of the New York City Charter of a lease to Cornell University to develop NYC Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island.
Old Business
New Business

Jeffrey Escobar and Laurence Parnes, Co-Chairs
A CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee member reports:
The meeting is open to the public who will have an opportunity to speak.

We will not be revisiting the project. One of the concerns will be how the commitments made by Cornell are incorporated into the lease and what provisions exist for accountability and enforcement of these commitments. The presentation is being made by the Economic Development Corporation but Cornell is expected to be present.
As previously reported, Cornell's commitments to the Roosevelt Island community include:
... Council Member Jessica Lappin negotiated to secure many commitments from the Administration and Cornell NYC Tech. The city has pledged to contribute funding to a one-year summer ferry service pilot program and has designated an NYPD liaison to ensure continued safety and security on Roosevelt Island. The university has committed to:

· Undertake the most aggressive voluntary use of barging in New York City, which will reduce the number of construction vehicles on Roosevelt Island by more than half, as compared to traditional building techniques.

· Partner with New York City middle schools to create Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics (STEM) programs, with a special focus on girls. Initial pilot programs will begin at P.S./I.S. 217 on Roosevelt Island, M.S. 406 in East Harlem, and I.S. 204 and P.S. 111 in Long Island City, Queens. Starting this summer, Cornell NYC Tech will sponsor an immersion program for girls in these schools to learn coding, web design, robotics and mobile development under the mentorship of some of the industry’s top engineers and entrepreneurs.

· "Adopt" the local school on Roosevelt Island, PS/IS 217, by providing programming such as teacher training and support, after school programming, tech events, career day options, and hardware and software programming development.

· Conduct air monitoring throughout the project, including demolition, excavation and construction. The results of this monitoring will be posted on the construction website.

· Engage extensively with the Roosevelt Island community by creating a construction task force with residents and others; researching ways that technology can enhance the lives of the disabled and the older adults on the Island; providing computers and training to senior center members and the disabled community; providing a tech fair to advance technology education for the disabled; working with the community to program outdoor space for children....
Click here for the Letter Agreement detailing the commitments made by Cornell NYC Tech to City Council Member Jessica Lappin, the entire City Council and the Roosevelt Island Community which are included as part of the lease agreement between the NYC and Cornell for the Goldwater Hospital site.  In addition to the commitments included in the lease agreement, NYC Deputy Mayor’s Robert Steel sent this letter dated May 2 2012 to Ms. Lappin regarding NYC contributing operating funds for a  pilot Roosevelt Island ferry service and NYPD monitoring security concerns for the new campus.
UPDATE 7/16 - CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee recommended disapproval of EDC lease with Cornell NYC Tech at last night's meeting.  Full CB 8 Board will vote on the issue Wednesday July 17. The EDC, Cornell and elected officials reps did not look very happy following the meeting.

Stay tuned for more.