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Exclusive Sidebar: Donor Driven

Education construction projects, especially in higher education, often are heavily underwritten by generous donations from alumni or other philanthropists.

That is the case for Cornell University’s planned $2 billion applied sciences and technology campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The university is partnering with The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology on the project. The program will be known as Technion Cornell Innovation Institute and will offer graduate and doctoral programs.

Key to the construction plans is a $350 million gift from Atlantic Philanthropies. The founding chairman of Atlantic Philanthropies is Feeney, an alumnus of Cornell. The land for the 2.1 million-square-foot campus is being provided by New York City, which also has promised $100 million in infrastructure upgrades.

Demolition of existing buildings on Roosevelt Island is expected to commence in 2014, and the first campus buildings are expected to open in 2017. Cornell is expected to begin the program in leased space in New York City in September 2012.

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