Ray Kelly, Police Commissioner, recently returned to the Bronx for the groundbreaking of the new student center of Manhattan College.
Mr. Kelly, a 1963 graduate of the school, is the center’s namesake. At 7,000 square feet, the building is to be built on a parking lot at the corner of Manhattan College Parkway and Waldo Avenue. According to President Brennan O’Donnell, the location serves as the school’s “front door to the community.”
“Kelly Commons, I like the way that sounds,” Kelly said during the ceremony last week.
Mr. O’Donnell explained that the building represents a major turning point in the college’s transformation efforts. The new center brings the college’s two campuses closer together, aiding in efforts to turn the school into a majority-residential school. For now, 80% of the incoming freshmen live on campus.
The new building will also provide a cultural haven for the entire neighborhood. Of the building’s five stories, the first two will offer a Starbucks, a bookstore and other programs and lectures to the public. The other floors will be limited to students and school staff, and will include a dining room, a conference room and a fitness center.
The school is also aware of other inconveniences it can potentially cause in the neighborhood. For this reason, it plans to open its Broadway parking garage to those who live on Waldo Avenue.