2011-10-19 / Features

Maloney Presses For Roosevelt Island Science Campus

BY THOMAS COGAN


L. to right: David Brause, chairman of the Long Island City Business Improvement District; Gayle Baron, president of the Long Island City Partnership; Congressmember Carolyn Maloney and state Senator Michael Gianaris. L. to right: David Brause, chairman of the Long Island City Business Improvement District; Gayle Baron, president of the Long Island City Partnership; Congressmember Carolyn Maloney and state Senator Michael Gianaris. To promote Roosevelt Island as an ideal site for a proposed applied sciences campus, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney held a 10 a.m. press conference October 17 in a board room of the MetLife Building on Queens Plaza North in Long Island City. Maloney was joined by state Senator Michael Gianaris; David Brause, president of the Long Island City Business Improvement District, and Gayle Baron, president of the Long Island City Partnership.

The idea of an applied sciences campus grows out of Applied Sciences NYC, an initiative announced during the summer by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Applied Sciences NYC includes an offer of cityowned land and infrastructure investments of perhaps $100 million to a university or institution with the right proposal for such a campus. Schools in New York and other parts of the country have responded with their proposals, and the city has said it will make a decision on one of them by the end of this year. Among the other places suggested as sites for the applied sciences campus are Governors Island and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Maloney, whose 14th District covers parts of Manhattan and Western Queens, made her case for Roosevelt Island with a pronounced inclination toward Queens. She said that an applied sciences and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island could transform Long Island City and the rest of Western Queens into a hub of technology and a hive of entrepreneurship. She also said that the city is a leader in such areas as finance, fashion and the arts, to which high technology and engineering should be added. She envisioned some 400 new businesses opening across the city, generated by Roosevelt Island’s high-tech facility.

Gianaris said that Applied Sciences NYC and the likelihood of a campus selection by the end of the year make this “a very exciting time”. He based his own case for Roosevelt Island as the home of the campus on such matters as easy transportation access, provided by the island’s subway stop on the F line and the 36th Street Bridge for bus and automobile traffic. He too said that the city should become more committed to high-tech industries and added that a campus on Roosevelt Island could provide an opportunity for the development in Western Queens of affordable student and faculty housing. Brause referred to Long Island City as New York’s fourth-largest business district, a place just waiting to connect to a new generator of scientific and technological learning and development. He said the city could diversify from finance and show a growing technological presence to the established high-tech areas of California and Massachusetts. He said he hoped the city would make the “smart and right course” in its selection, obviously believing it to be Roosevelt Island. Baron, saying that no place would be a more “ideal” site for the applied sciences campus than Roosevelt Island, pointed out that nearby Western Queens already provides excellent building stock and business and arts communities that would grow with its installation.

Maloney was asked at the press conference what would happen to the Roosevelt Island plan for the applied sciences campus, should another site be chosen at the end of the year. She said she simply didn’t know, being thoroughly dedicated to the success of Roosevelt Island.

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