Despite CUNY’s recent cutbacks, including the planned elimination of remedial programs in the City’s colleges, its trustees paved the way last week for installation of a $700,000 walkway to permit its law school students faster access to the Queens College gymnasium and other facilities.
CUNY said the walkway was needed "to provide students, faculty and staff with a safe, well-lighted and pleasant path between Queens College and the Law School."
Jackson Leeds, a 1993 graduate of CUNY Law School, said he was chagrined that money is going to contractors and not to students.
According to the resolution passed by the trustees, the walkway contract embodies two projects.
One involves exterior security and safety improvements such as additional lighting and repair and replacement of deteriorated walkways and entrance stairs throughout the perimeter of the building.
The second project creates a pedestrian link between the CUNY Law School and the Queens College campus. The walkway, complete with fencing, landscaping grading, site drainage and lighting, is designed to provide a "safe, convenient and direct method of pedestrian movement between the two campuses."
"Now that CUNY has embarked upon an unneeded building project," Leeds said, "Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, the talk show hosts, should conduct a listener contest to find an apt name for the walkway, as they did in the case of Mayor Giuliani’s expensive bunker."
CUNY justified the $700,000 expenditure by pointing out that the 150,000-square-foot Law School building offers few of the amenities needed by students.
"There is no food service there and parking space is minimal," a CUNY spokesperson said. The Law School, located at the western edge of Queens College, uses the College’s food service facilities, parking lots, athletic facilities, library and student union.
"Currently, walking between the College and the Law School requires leaving the campus and walking on city sidewalks," the spokesperson added.
The link will be fully accessible to disabled persons and be inside the area protected by CUNY security.
No date has been set for the start of construction nor has a contractor been selected.