Mayor Bill de Blasio has made a $74 million commitment to FIT in his executive budget to construct a new state-of-the art academic building that will help the college continue its success as a leading institution of higher education and enhance its offerings in design and business. These funds, laid out in a multi-year financial plan, match a $74 million allocation from the State of New York, made in fiscal year 2009 as part of the SUNY capital plan for community colleges.
FIT’s physical campus has not kept pace with the college’s tremendous growth over the past 30 years, as the full-time student population and the number of degree programs have doubled. The new building will help alleviate the current 400,000-square-foot space shortfall and provide a much-needed new teaching and learning environment.
“Words cannot describe how delighted and grateful we are as we make this announcement today. We thank Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to public higher education and the creative industries of New York,” said FIT’s president Dr. Joyce F. Brown. “This will be the first new academic building constructed on our campus in over 40 years, and it will help us to continue our efforts to increase program offerings, expand recruitment of a diverse student population, and enhance the overall student experience here at FIT.”
The new building, with 10 stories and almost 100,000 square feet, will be built within the footprint of the existing campus, and open on to West 28th Street. The LEED silver-certified structure will incorporate state-of-the-art building management systems, a green roof, and a solar grid to power the building. The facility will include both academic and student-life spaces, including smart classrooms, studios, laboratories, and display and exhibition spaces. The building is welcomed by the community and has a unanimous endorsement from Community Board 5.
Designed by the award-winning New York architectural firm SHoP Architects in a competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the building will feature a glass facade, giving passersby a view of college life inside. The competition was the result of a $75,000 award from the NEA as part of its New Public Works initiative to help develop high-quality design in the public realm.
The final design is expected to take one year, followed by three years of construction.
“FIT is unique because it is located directly in the heart of the industries it serves. Yet the current structures that comprise the campus miss the opportunity to express the dynamic interaction between the academy and the professional world. We see this project as a unique opportunity to reconnect and reevaluate these relationships,” said SHoP partner Gregg Pasquarelli.
Read the News Release (.pdf)