Governor's Island Offered to New York's City University as Gift from the President
Usborne, David, The Independent (London, England)
AN AMBITIOUS plan has been unveiled by Michael Bloom-berg, the Mayor of New York, to transform a blob of land off the southern tip of Manhattan into a university campus.
The project for Governor's Island, once a British military base, was conceived this week after the White House signalled it was prepared to give the federally owned land to New York on condition that officials could find a good use for it. The island, measuring 172 acres, shares New York harbour with Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
Transferring Governor's Island to the city was proposed by Bill Clinton when he was President five years ago but squabbles erupted over how it should be used. Mr Bloom-berg's predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, wanted a casino on the site while others dreamed of a Disney-style theme park.
Governor's Island, named because the British used it to house the governor of New York, was last occupied by the US Coast Guard, which upped sticks in 1997. It was the site of a 1988 disarmament summit between the former president Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Excitement over the plan to construct a new campus on the island for the City University of New York, the city's publicly supported university, is growing. Most intriguingly, it would free up a large amount of space in existing university buildings for new classrooms for the city's overcrowded schools. President George Bush announced the deal to surrender the island during a meeting in Washington on Monday with Mr Bloomberg and George Pataki, the Governor of New York. "It's something I want to do, because I think it's going to make the life of a city that has been tragically affected by killers and murderers better," the President said. …