Major construction projects support record enrollments — and help bolster the city’s economy.
Fueled by unprecedented enrollment increases in the past decade, The City University of New York is generating needed construction and renovation programs that support both modern facilities for current and future generations of students and economic development in New York City.
From 2001 to 2011, total full-time and part-time enrollment at CUNY campuses grew from about 197,000 to 262,000 — an increase of more than a third. During that same period, enrollment at the University’s community colleges increased a stunning 48 percent, from about 63,000 to more than 94,000. Today CUNY serves some 540,000 students at 24 institutions, including nearly 270,000 in adult, continuing and professional education.
More top students are factoring into the mix. Last fall, the University accepted about 20,200 applicants with a high school GPA of 85 or above — that’s 7.8 percent more top applicants than the previous year and a remarkable 104.5 percent rise from the fall the fall of 2002.
“More high-achieving students than ever are recognizing the opportunity for a world-class education at CUNY,” says University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.
To meet student demand, CUNY’s capital program currently has about $2 billion of projects in the pipeline, from modern laboratories to major renovations of historic buildings. Buoyed by lower construction costs, these projects collectively account for an estimated 20 percent of all construction activity today in New York City. Over the lifetime of the work, these projects will generate an estimated 14,000 jobs and provide about 1.9 million square feet of space.
“CUNY is providing a powerful economic stimulus for the entire city,” said Iris Weinshall, Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management. Since fiscal year 2008-09 — the beginning of the last recession — the University, with the support of the state and city, has invested $2.7 billion in capital projects across 24 institutions.