When CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and
Management, Emma Macari, was asked to discuss her current projects this
September 11, she admitted being distracted by thoughts of so much destruction.
Her spirits noticeably improved, however, when she turned her attention
to two capital projects that have occupied her office for the last several
| Vice Chancellor Emma Macari
Kingsborough Community College’s embrace of its Brighton Beach/Sheepshead
Bay neighbors has just become even wider with the opening of its new
Academic Village Building. The 40,000 square foot building will accommodate
offices for such community-related programs as continuing education,
“College Now” for high school students, “My-Turn”
for older adults, and outreach programs like, for example, a distance
learning center. The building, which occupies some former Coast Guard
land given to Kingsborough to permit its growth, will also contain 5,500
square feet of instructional space.
Macari is delighted that this first installment of the KCC Master Plan,
which was introduced by the late President Leon M. Goldstein in 1995,
is now open for service. The building, which cost $24 million and was
designed by the architectural firms of Gruzen Samton and Davis Brody
Bond, is designed to comply with agreements that this former federal
excess property will have no structure exceeding two stories, in keeping
with the style of the two-story brick row houses that previously stood
on the 4.75-acre tract.
Inaugural ceremonies for the Academic Village Building were to take
place on October 24, with Senator Charles Schumer the scheduled keynote
|At right, Kingsborough Community
College’s newly- occupied Academic Village; below, a rendering of
Brooklyn College’s West Quad Building.
Macari is even more enthusiastic about the prospect of a new physical
education and student services complex at Brooklyn College, known as
the West Quad. For it will not only require the demolition of a famous
campus eyesore, the Plaza Building, which Macari likes to describe as
“a two-story basement.” It will also recover the spirit
of the classic 1937 Master Plan, by creating a strongly geometrical
quadrangle that was originally envisioned by planners.
Designs are in place for this $97 million, 142,000-square-foot project;
construction begins in 2004 and occupancy is planned for 2007. The architect
is Rafael Viñoly, well known within CUNY for his sports complex
at Lehman College, which opened in 1994.
The West Quad Building will be four stories and has been designed to
respect its immediate neighbors, James and Roosevelt Halls. The lawn
these three buildings face, says Viñoly, “will serve as
the outdoor ‘living room’ of the campus.” The quad
will also complement the quad across Bedford Avenue to the east.
Macari is particularly pleased that the student services space (offering
bursar, enrollment, financial aid, and other offices), known as the
Oasis, will be so generously windowed and open to the extensive green
space of the new quad. From the Oasis, spectators can go to watch athletic
events in the NCAA competition pool, and the NCAA basketball court.
These spaces will be open to both students and residents of the surrounding
community. The main exterior material is brick; Macari says considerable
effort was made to match the brick color to that of the 1937 Master