The hotly contested race to build an applied-science campus in New York City culminated this afternoon, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg named Cornell University and its partner, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, as the winning institutions, in what he called a “defining moment” for the city.
The outcome, announced by Mayor Bloomberg in a news conference at Cornell’s medical school in Manhattan, unfolded publicly over just three days. On Friday, Stanford University—once regarded as the competition’s front-runner—withdrew and, hours later, Cornell announced a $350-million gift to support the project (a donation the billionaire mayor’s office said was not from him). Then, late Sunday, word spread that Mr. Bloomberg planned to name the winner now, instead of waiting until January, as had been expected.
In his remarks today, Mr. Bloomberg said Cornell and the Technion had prevailed for three reasons: They had “far and away the boldest and most ambitious” plan for the campus; they had “a tantalizing groundbreaking partnership” that brought “international star power” to the project; and they proposed the most aggressive schedule for opening the campus of any of the candidates.
But, Mr. Bloomberg said, the “competition is not over.” Active discussions between the city and three other finalists—Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, and New York Universities—continue, and there may be future announcements, he said, toward his goal of furthering New York’s emergence as a “beehive of innovation and discovery.”
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