By Jennifer Call
Due to the construction of Klarman Hall–a new building currently being built to expand Goldwin Smith–the southbound lane of East Avenue will be closed until April 19, 2015. The northbound lane will only be accessible to buses, bikes, and emergency vehicles. “I think it is a hindrance, not just walking but also driving to campus, especially for people who live on North,” an Arts and Sciences student, Dani Sierra ’15, said, “and the fact that it is going to be closed until 2015 is annoying.”
Furthermore, this temporary roadblock will be halting traffic flow during major events on campus such as Cornell Days, Dragon Day, Reunion, Commencement, Homecoming, and student moving in and out days. For instance, the Dragon Day tradition is to pass through East Avenue during the parade; students will have to come up with a different plan this year.
Despite traffic issues, the project might be worth the inconvenience; the Arts and Sciences Department is facing shortages in workspaces, classrooms, and offices. The new construction will add 33,250 square feet, which is even larger than Morrill Hall, and grants the department the much-needed extra space.
Not only will the Klarman Hall addition remedy the space issue, but it will “symbolically and physically welcome the rest of the campus to participate in the Humanities and Arts at Cornell,” according to Peter Lepage, the former Dean of Arts and Sciences. A large café, plenty of seating inside and outside, and 7,700 square feet of sunlit atrium and gathering space will be included.
Klarman Hall is the first new humanities building in over 100 years to be built at Cornell. However, there is no concern that Klarman Hall will conceal the historical presence of Goldwin Smith; Klarman Hall’s roofline will fall below Goldwin Smith’s and therefore won’t be visible from the Arts Quad. Also, the building has a transparent design that will only accentuate Goldwin Smith, not hide it. Benjamin Coupe ‘14, an Arts and Sciences student, agreed: “I think it’s worth it. The construction of Klarman Hall is a critical step in preserving and expanding the liberal arts essence of Cornell University.”