Columbia Business School Readies Its $600 Million New Campus For A Jan. 4th Debut

The view from a classroom in David Geffen Hall


The new complex also makes a symbolic statement of sorts that it the school is a more central part of New York City despite its location uptown. “When we are in Uris, we are in a cocoon of the university behind gates,” explains Maglaras. “In our new buildings we have embraced the city, and New York is visible.”

From the massive four-pane windows imported from Venice, students have expansive views of the vehicles rushing across the Henry Hudson Parkway next to a gleaming Hudson River stretching to the wooded bluffs of New Jersey. On other sides of the buildings, they can peer into the cityscape of midtown New York, catching glimpses of Grant’s Tomb on Riverside Drive and West 122nd St. Looking north, the vast span of the George Washington Bridge is clearly visible.

Despite the big increase in space, the school does not plan to increase the size of its MBA program which currently enrolls just under 850 students, divided into 11 clusters. Maglaras says the school will launch a new dual degree with the university’s engineering school with plans to enroll the first class in the fall of 2023.


The new campus is a long time in coming. It was two decades ago that discussions first emerged about a new home for the business school. It took nearly ten years of fundraising by Maglaras predecessor, economist Glenn Hubbard, to get the money for the new complex. Over his 15-year term as dean, Hubbard raised more than $1 billion, including over $500 million for the school’s new home. He secured two of the largest gifts ever pledged to a business school, $125 million from Henry Kravis, co-founder and co-CEO of the leveraged buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and an initial pledge of $100 million from Ronald Perelman, chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings. In September of this year, entertainment honcho David Geffen pledged $75 million to support the school’s new home.

Hubbard also led all the planning for the design and construction of the center which has taken five years to complete since the excavation of the site in November of 2016. Other than a four-week stall during the peak of the pandemic, construction workers have been hard at work erecting the new buildings.

Maglaras, who estimates he has spent about 10% of his time on the new building since becoming dean in July of 2019, thinks that the school may have lost about two months off its opening schedule due to COVID. Because orders for building supplies were placed before the pandemic struck, “supply chain disruptions were not extreme,” he says. “We all know this is a very ambitious and consuming project, but a lot of our energy was hijacked by COVID”.

Over the next week or so, faculty will be moving into their new offices, including the dean who has spent 24 years of his professorial career in Uris. For Maglaras, the move will be “bittersweet.” Still, like everyone else at Columbia Business School, he is looking forward to life in the new complex.

Columbia Business School’s Kravis Hall at night, one of two buildings on its new campus at 130th and Broadway

The Long & Winding Road Toward A New Business School At Columbia

Date Development
2003 President Bollinger announces the intention to build a campus in the old Manhattanville manufacturing zone of West Harlem
2006 Manhattanville Campus slated to include a site for a single business school building
2007 Columbia University begins the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in June and finishes in December
2008 General Manhattanville Project Plan adopted and affirmed. Business School now slated for two buildings. Capital campaign launched and architect search begins
2011 Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFowle are selected to design the business school’s two new buildings
2014 Design phase for underground facilities approved
2015 Construction phase for facilities approved
November, 2016 Excavation began
May, 2017 Completion of $500 million capital campaign for business school complex by Dean Glenn Hubbard
December, 2021 Completion of new B-school buildings, with final punch list fixes
January, 2022 Classes begin in new business school complex

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