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 (NCRE) will enable Cornell to provide more intentional and consistent support during the most formative years of the student experience.

The proposed residence halls will allow Cornell to address multiple issues. Upon completion, the NCRE 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 affliated housing.

By adding approximately 2,000 beds and a dining facility on North Campus for occupancy by the fall semester of 2022, the NCRE will:

  • address a deficit of on-campus housing
  • offer appropriate housing, social and dining spaces to first-year and sophomore students
  • support the program with an additional, approximately 75 beds for live-in professional staff, upper-level student resident advisors (RAs) and faculty-in-residence
  • provide enough housing to implement a two-year residence requirement (all first-year and sophomore students to live on campus or in Cornell-affliated housing)
  • provide swing space so that deferred maintenance in older residence halls can be accomplished
  • allow anticipated increases in undergraduate enrollment
  • supplement the local housing market, particularly in the City of Ithaca.


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 six 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 social uses on the ground floor 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, this project provides living spaces 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.

First-Year Students

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

The recreation fields' site north of Appel Commons will become an expanded first-year living community. This site will include approximately 1,200 new student beds and outdoor recreation amenities.


This project will provide more sophomores with the option to remain on North Campus, creating greater continuity in their student experience. Cornell is enthusiastic about the opportunity to provide an environment which fosters more mentorship and interaction between first-year and sophomore students outside the classroom, and believes that the introduction of new residential options 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 fitness space is an integrated element in one of the sophomore buildings.

For more information, you can review the Review Application Report and its appendix.

View the site plan.

Site plan of North Campus Residential Expansion