• University Center News Faqs
  • FAQs

  • Building project

    Why is The New School building the University Center?

    Over the past decade, The New School has transformed itself into a leading degree-granting university with a focus on interdisciplinary programs. Our model of education requires a state-of-the-art space for all students. The University Center provides a dynamic new urban focal point for interdisciplinary learning, student life, and public programming and performance.

    When did the University Center open?

    The University Center residences opened in fall 2013. The academic, public, and performance spaces opened in January 2014.

    Who are the architects?

    The University Center was designed by award-winning Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architect Roger Duffy, FAIA, whose work includes major buildings at Brown University, Deerfield Academy, and David Ben Gurion International Airport. 

    Is this a "green" building?

    The University Center is one of Manhattan's most sustainable skyscrapers, with a projected LEED Gold Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. To learn more about the building's green features, visit the University Center Sustainability page

    Who designed the garden on the seventh-floor roof?

    The seventh-floor garden was designed by internationally renowned landscape architecture firm Mathews Nielsen. 

    What's the idea behind those stairs?

    Designed to foster community inside and outside the building, the University Center's staircases are one of the building's most novel elements. Each exposed staircase sits atop a hidden fire staircase, allowing two kinds of movement through the building: The exposed stairs encourage chance meetings, while the hidden ones provide direct floor-to-floor access. Learn more at the Architect's Newspaper.


    When did the University Center open for classes?

    Academic and performance spaces opened in January 2014.

    Which schools' classes are held here?

    The University Center is a resource for all New School students, and every school will have courses in and access to the building.

    How many classrooms are in the University Center?

    The University Center will hold 58 instructional spaces, including seminar rooms, studio spaces, lecture halls, and rooms equipped with state-of-the-art distance learning technology.

    Will the existing library on 13th Street be relocated or combined with the facility in the University Center?

    No, the University Center library is a new addition to The New School libraries and not a replacement. 

    Will The New School vacate existing academic spaces when the University Center opens?

    Yes, some programs and classes will leave rental spaces once the University Center is complete. 

    Event Spaces

    What is the capacity of the main auditorium in the University Center?

    The main auditorium can seat approximately 600, and expands to seat approximately 800.

    Is the main auditorium seating fixed or flexible?

    The seating is flexible; back seats can be removed and the upper seating area can be converted into two classrooms.

    Is the rooftop garden accessible?

    The Seventh Floor Green Roof is not accessible.

    Does the University Center feature any commissioned art projects?

    In the tradition of works like the Orozco Murals at 66 West 12th Street and Kara Walker's Event Horizon in Arnhold Hall, The New School has commissioned American artist Glenn Ligon to create his first permanent site-specific work in New York City for its new University Center. Read the official announcement of the commission for detailed information on Ligon and his work. The commission will be unveiled in spring 2014.

    Does the University Center have a cafeteria?

    The University Center will have three dining areas: a 280-seat cafeteria on the second floor, an 80-seat library café on the seventh floor, and a 60-seat event café on the first basement outside the auditorium entrance.

    Administrative and Security

    What offices are housed in the University Center?

    The University Center is entirely devoted to student use. The few offices planned for the building are reserved for departments that deal directly with students, such as the Center for Student Success.

    How many restrooms are on each floor?

    Each academic level has two restrooms, many of which are all-gender; each residential suite has its own restroom and private shower.

    Is there turnstile ID entry?

    The academic section of the building is be accessible through turnstile ID entry, like the entrance to the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. The residences have a separate entrance, which will also require ID. Security guards are present at both entrances.

    Kerrey Hall (Student Residences)

    Where are the Kerrey Hall student residences in the University Center?

    Floors 8 through 16 houses the student residences.

    When did Kerrey Hall open?

    August 2013.

    Which students are housed in Kerrey Hall?

    146 two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-bed suites.

    How many students live in Kerrey Hall?

    Kerrey Hall houses 600 students.

    Do the University Center residences replace any existing New School housing?

    When Kerrey Hall opened, in August 2013, The New School vacated the student residences on William Street, which the university rented.

    How do I find out about living in Kerrey Hall?

    Contact the Office of University Housing at universityhousing@newschool.edu.

    Ongoing Work and Improvements

    How did the water main break on January 15 affect the University Center?

    When a New York City water main broke under the street at the intersection of 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, the two lower levels of the University Center were flooded. Damage from the flooding has delayed their opening.

    When will the lower levels open?

    Work on the lower levels is expected to be finished by June 2014.

    What resources will be available when the two lower levels open? 

    On the C1 Level, students, faculty and staff will have access to an Event Cafe, two lecture halls, study space, and more. On the C2 Level, residents of Kerrey Hall will have access to laundry, a fitness facility, an art studio, music practice rooms, and a student lounge.

  • Do you have a question that is not listed above? Please share it with Amy Malsin, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs, at malsina@newschool.edu.