The Union Theological Seminary Campus in Morningside Heights could, in the not-too-distant-future be the site of a 35-40-story residential building that would sit side by side with the existing school buildings, the Wall Street Journal reports. The administration at the school is hoping that a deal with a developer would raise the requisite funds the school needs for restoration on many of its existing, historic buildings.
The Seminary needs as much as $100 million to carry out restoration work on the crumbling facade and some of the mechanical work in the buildings, the president of the Seminary, Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, told the WSJ.
The school is in talks with L & M Development Partners to sell 350,000 square feet of its air rights for the construction of this new residential tower.
The proposed building would rise in the norther section of the quadrangle that lies in the center of the Seminary's campus.
A number of students however are opposed to the project and say it goes against the principles of the school.
"Building a new high-rise community only for the elite in the heart of the UTS campus is antithetical to the building of a world where all God's children are to be loved, housed and cared for," read part of a letter written by a group of over 200 students at the school addressed to the administration, that the WSJ quoted in its story.
The Seminary was founded in 1836 and has often been at the forefront of social justice causes. It is seen as the birthplace of black liberation, and feminist theologies. The Seminary is affiliated with the nearby Columbia University and serves as its faculty of theology.