Major universities are embarking on multibillion-dollar expansions on the back on back of positive financial trends and sharpening competition for top faculty and students, according to The Wall Street Journal. The article cites Cornell University's $2-billion Cornell Tech project, which broke ground last week on Roosevelt Island in New York City, and Columbia University's $6-billion second campus in upper Manhattan.
Colleges and universities kicked off construction on projects worth $11.4 billion last year, up 13 percent from 2013 and the largest amount since 2008, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Robert Murray, a Dodge Data economist, said low interest rates and surging endowments, which gained an average of 16 percent in 2014, are creating fertile soil for sprouting new buildings.
Universities are also looking to create new infrastructure that facilitates collaboration among students, academics, and industry and helps them boost research funding, the Journal writes.