North Campus Residential Expansion

Purpose, Need & Benefit

The first two years of the educational experience on campus are foundational to students’ academic success, personal development, and the ability to build a cohesive community. The additional residence halls to be developed in the North Campus Residential Expansion will enable Cornell to provide more intentional and consistent support during the most formative years of the student experience.

Upon completion, the North Campus Residential Expansion will give Cornell the ability to house 100% of its first-years in developmentally appropriate campus housing and 100% of its sophomores in campus residence halls, co-ops, and Greek housing.

By adding 2,000 beds and a dining facility on North Campus by August of 2022, the North Campus Residential Expansion (NCRE) will address a significant deficit of on-campus housing for Cornell students, as well as accommodate an anticipated increase in enrollment.


North Campus will be home to first-year student and sophomore residences that provide individual identities for each class year but promote interaction through new dining and recreation facilities as well as open space. Cornell will utilize approximately 800 of the new beds for sophomore students and 1,200 for first-year students.

The buildings will be between three and five stories using a modern aesthetic that pulls from, and expands on, the admirable qualities of many of the existing buildings on North Campus. Articulated facades, durable quality materials and active ground floor plans will be important features of the new residence halls, utilizing innovative design to meet the needs of future undergraduates and creating a platform for engaging community interactions.

Through creative floor plans, Cornell strives to provide residence halls that enhance the residential experience, and encourage interaction and collaboration among students. The buildings aim to draw students out of their rooms and into ample common areas in support of group study, social interaction, and group programs in spacious lounges and nearby cafes. Abundant social spaces will be dominant on the ground floor and include:

  • Living rooms
  • Lounges
  • Study rooms
  • Wellness rooms
  • Multi-purpose rooms
  • Communal kitchens

Lounges and study rooms will also be included on each floor of residential living.

First-Year Students

First-year students will continue to be concentrated on North Campus as established by the North Campus Residential Initiative of 2001, but Cornell will now have capacity to house all of them in developmentally appropriate housing that focuses on a common first-year experience and building community.

The open space north of Appel Commons will become an expanded first-year living community. This site will include approximately 1,200 new student beds and an outdoor amphitheater suited for staged dramatic productions, performances and informal gatherings. The first-year student site also includes a multi-purpose field and a basketball court adjacent to the residence halls.


This project will provide more sophomores with the option to remain on North Campus, creating greater continuity in their student experience. Additionally, this creates an environment which fosters more mentorship and interaction between first-year students and sophomores outside the classroom, and will enhance the success of other program-specific residential environments, such as the West Campus House System.

The CC parking lot will become student housing for sophomores. This site will host approximately 800 new student beds, a 1,200-seat dining hall and central student lounge/social spaces. A new recreation space is also being explored as an integrated element in one of the sophomore buildings.

View the site plan.

link to site plan image