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Rockefeller University to Revamp Upper East Side Campus

 The Rockefeller University will reveal refurbishing plans at a Community Board 8 meeting on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, according to the CB's website.
Rockefeller University Expansion
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UPPER EAST SIDE — The Rockefeller University will undergo a dramatic makeover, according to new information on Community Board 8's website and a school spokesman.

The biomedical sciences institution, which has been associated with 24 Nobel laureates, wants to build several new buildings, CB8's recently posted Land Use Committee agenda indicates.

Though discussion of Rockefeller's expansion plans circulated since at least early 2012, specifics do not appear to have been available until now. They include a "low research building" comprised of "two-stories with rooftop pavilions" in air space over FDR Drive and a "one-story recreation building" in the northwest portion of Rockefeller's campus.

The forthcoming structure over FDR drive will play host to new biomedical research laboratories, a spokesman said.

The 160,000-square-foot building will "feature a landscaped green roof level," the spokesman added.

"The new building is critical to maintaining the university’s excellent standards for research and teaching, by allowing for the recruitment of new faculty to replace those lost by attrition, and for the renewal of laboratory space that is outdated and poorly suited to modern science," the university said in a statement. 

Rockefeller officials also said the university is not growing its footprint in the neighborhood — and that the project would not disrupt residents' quality of life.

"It’s important to note that the project does not represent an expansion of the university’s size in terms of personnel or activities, but that the new space will replace laboratories in existing buildings and allow for the elimination of a temporary structure erected several years ago," the statement said. "Because it will be low and largely below the existing grade, the proposed building would not block any existing views."

Rockefeller plans on enhancing public portions of the East River Esplanade, the statement said. 

The university also wants to raze an employee parking garage and create a new rec center for students, faculty and staff that would "centralize fitness facilities."                                                                                                                                                                                    

Rockefeller, which is located at 1230 York Ave., at East 65th Street, is set to present an "informational presentation" on this plan at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Land Use Committee meeting, the agenda states.

The forum will take place at New York Blood Center, 310 E. 67th St.

The university's plans coincide with a "medical arms race" taking place in the neighborhood, as more and more institutions — such as the controversial City University of New York/Memorial Sloan-Kettering project — mushroom on the Upper East Side.

The CUNY-MSK development will bring a 1-million-square-foot combined college and cancer hospital to East 73rd Street and York Avenue.