Silicon Alley U

East Harlem None Too Keen on the Idea of $300M. to Accomodate Cornell

They would like some science programs, please.
aerialrendering proposed1 East Harlem None Too Keen on the Idea of $300M. to Accomodate Cornell

The future.

The latest challenge for the city’s grand applied-sciences plans: Some ticked-off East Harlemites, says the Daily News.

As we’ve mentioned before, building that snazzy billion-dollar campus on Roosevelt Island requires demolishing the antiquated old Coler-Goldwater long-term care hospital. Hundreds of patients–many of them with complex needs and financial situations–have to be relocated before October 2013.

The good news is the city has a plan: The Daily News reports that, in order to squeak in under the deadline, “city officials are racing to erect several facilities in East Harlem that will house as many as 700 Coler-Goldwater patients.” But that’s going to cost some $300 million and the locals are, frankly, peeved.

The term “hidden subsidy” is bandied about.

Says the Daily News:

They never bothered to ask locals what they wanted done with that land, according Community Board 11, which voted unanimously in mid June to oppose them.

“We’re not against the Cornell school,” said Matthew Washington, chairman of Community Board 11.

“We just believe there has to be more support from the city for our own residents” and a “recognition of the burden” the neighborhood will bear for these projects.”

Community leaders want more construction jobs for locals and, according to the Daily News, believe that “the mayor should assure that Cornell provides special science programs for all East Harlem schools.”

However, the city would like to point out that this closure was announced in 2010, before the tech campus competition even started, much less the winner announced. Coler-Goldwater was antiquated and needed to be replaced, regardless.

Another day, another tussle.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com