QUEENS COLLEGE TO SOLICIT PROPOSALS TO BUILD ON-CAMPUS DORM
– Among Those the College Expects to Attract Are Graduate Science Students
And Queens Students Who Want the Dorm Experience –
FLUSHING, February 9, 2007 – Following meetings with community leaders and elected officials, Queens College of the City University of New York is expected to publish a “Request For Proposals” (RFP) on February 26, soliciting interested developers regarding the design and construction of a low-rise, on-campus dorm, with occupancy targeted for fall 2009. No public funds will finance the project, which is estimated at $63 million and expected to accommodate 450-550 students with parking spaces added for 200 cars.
“We need to remain competitive both within and outside CUNY in attracting the best students,” says President James Muyskens, who describes Queens College as one of the leading higher education institutions in the city and widely known as the “jewel in the crown of CUNY.” Hunter and City College have dorms and other CUNY colleges are following suit. Offering the residential experience has allowed them to increase their population of honors students—individuals with the highest academic credentials. Queens College also expects to attract more Honors students by offering residential housing.
With a dorm, Queens College can also attract more students from its own borough because high-achievers often prefer colleges that offer a residential experience. With a dorm, the college’s renowned Aaron Copland School of Music can enroll talented musicians from around the world, and science programs can bring in doctoral and master’s students from out of town who could not otherwise afford to study and conduct research in New York City.
In addition, Queens College offers its students the opportunity to participate in an international Study Abroad and National Student Exchange program; the college is expected to offer the same opportunity to the host institutions. A dorm will provide housing for these exchange students and others who meet the college’s regular admissions criteria.
The college expects that the dorm will enhance the educational experience for all Queens College students and further increase the value of its already highly respected diploma. One successful strategic goal of the college has been to strengthen campus life for commuting students by increasing activities for them on campus. The residence hall will further enhance campus life, with additional programming created for students when classes are not in session.
With a total population of more than 18,000 students, only 2 percent will reside in the dorm, which is not intended to increase the student population. Says President Muyskens: “Queens College will remain a commuter campus, committed to our mission of educating New Yorkers.”
Size and Location of Dorm
The dorm will be located inside the campus—not on the periphery—between the gym and the library, on the site of the current outdoor tennis courts. (New tennis courts will be built in another location.) At four to five stories, its height will not exceed the library’s and will not obstruct views. Total capacity is expected to be 450-550 students. Rental rates for the units included in the project will vary. Preliminary financial analysis suggests that students will pay between $900 and $1,400 per month per person, depending on the unit type they choose. Since the dorm will not have a separate dining room, students will use the current dining hall, whose services will be expanded.
In addition, it is anticipated that 200 surface parking spots will be created underneath the dorm building—a 10% increase.
Although Queens College is an active campus from early morning past the last classes--which end most days at 10:45 p.m.--it is a secure campus. After classes end, all entrances are secured and everyone, including Queens College faculty and staff, must enter through the main entrance on Kissena Boulevard. Security guards are present there 24/7, checking credentials of all who arrive on campus. In addition, security will be posted at the main entrance of the dorm.
Because the college has embarked on strategic planning for its near- and long-term future, it is assembling a Community Advisory Committee made up of community and business leaders as well as representatives from Queens College. This committee will offer advice to the college on subjects of mutual benefit and interest, such as the dorms.