Columbia University nursing school project pegged at $34M

Filing shows university plans to expand Russ Berrie pavillion to 186K square feet

Renderings of the new Columbia University School of Nursing
Renderings of the new Columbia University School of Nursing

Columbia University Medical Center filed building permits today for the $34.4 million expansion of the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, allowing for the construction of a 65,000-square-foot nursing school on an adjacent corner parking lot in Washington Heights, according to Department of Buildings data.

The 120,452-square-foot building at 558 West 168th Street, also known as 1150 St. Nicholas Avenue, will grow to 186,043 square feet. Hospital officials announced in October that the school would break ground on a new, seven-story Columbia University School of Nursing near Audubon Avenue later this year. CO|FXFOWLE, a joint venture between CO Architects and FXFOWLE Architects, was hired to do the design for the project.

The master plan for the project initially involved constructing a three-story nursing building with a similar square footage.

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The revised nursing school will be about 65 percent larger than the current space at 617 West 168th Street. The “vertical and horizontal enlargement” of the existing structure will alter the overall occupancy, use and location of exits. A simulation lab will occupy the second and third floors, and the remainder will hold conference rooms, lounges, faculty offices and a café.

The $66 million Russ Berrie building, named after the New Jersey business mogul, was constructed in 1997 “with the intention that it would someday be expanded,” a Columbia University Medical Center spokesperson told The Real Deal.

The medical center is relocating its Barnes & Noble college bookstore from the biomedical research building at 3954 Broadway to the Hammer Health Science Center at 711 West 168th Street, as previously reported. Diller Scofidio + Renfro is designing the new, 14-story Medical and Graduate Education Building building at 104 Haven Avenue, slated to open in 2016.

The medical center is not the only aspect of Columbia University that is dramatically changing. The 17-acre, $6.8 billion expansion of its Manhattanville campus in West Harlem is underway and will take about two decades to complete.