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Iona College, City of New Rochelle Announce Joint Planning Effort
City Allows Additional Occupancy in Existing Residence Halls; College Withdraws Application for Mayflower Housing.
Contact: Kathy Gilwit, Communications Manager
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Contact: Dawn Insanalli, Director of Public Relations
Iona College 715 North Avenue New Rochelle, NY 10801
August 2, 2011 – Iona College President Dr. Joseph Nyre and Mayor Noam Bramson today joined residents and leaders of neighborhoods surrounding the Iona campus to launch a collaborative planning process aimed at taking a fresh look at the College’s development.
With neighborhood input and participation, the City and Iona will examine options for addressing student housing objectives and other priorities while also improving the economy and quality of life of the larger community.
Iona will voluntarily withdraw its current application for a new 10-story residence hall on Mayflower Avenue, until at least the conclusion of this planning process. Additionally, the City will adjust the local occupancy standards for Iona’s existing residence halls to make them consistent with those of the Fire Code and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. The revised occupancy limit will be effective for at least the next two academic years.
“This agreement gives us an opportunity to begin anew the relationship between Iona and New Rochelle, and set it on a more positive path,” said Mayor Bramson. “I do not underestimate the scope of the challenge, but based on the strong support and enthusiasm of all present, including individuals and groups who have rarely before been united in a cause, I am optimistic about our prospects.” Mayor Bramson commended Dr. Nyre for his readiness to embrace a strategic partnership at the start of his tenure.
“We look forward to forging new partnerships and to receiving feedback from community members and local businesses to inform how Iona’s growth may have a maximum positive impact on the community while also minimizing any negative impact,” said Dr. Nyre. “This agreement is in the best long-term interest of the entire community.”
Greg Varian, former President of the Halcyon Park neighborhood association which abuts the Iona campus, hailed the announcement as a giant step forward. “I'm optimistic. As one who has been deeply involved in debates surrounding college development, I believe a community-college partnership is essential,” said Varian. "If Iona College and the City utilize this unique opportunity to find a solution which rejuvenates North Avenue while protecting and stabilizing our residential neighborhoods, then we all win.”
Robert McCaffrey, the President of the Mount Joy Place neighborhood association and a vocal opponent of the proposed Mayflower residence hall, expressed his enthusiasm. “My neighbors and I are delighted with this agreement,” said McCaffrey. “This is not a victory for any one side, but rather an opportunity for all sides, and we look forward to working constructively and open-mindedly with the City and College to identify alternatives that meet everyone’s interests.”
Founded in 1940 by the Congregation of Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, Iona College is a private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of American Catholic higher education. Iona - currently listed in the top tier of US News and World Report's annual "America's Best Colleges 2011"; The Princeton Review's “Best Northeastern Colleges” 2011 edition and BusinessWeek's “Top 25 Undergraduate Business Schools in the Northeast” - offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous post-graduate certificate programs.
Photo Caption: At the recent joint press conference on student housing between Iona College and the City of New Rochelle were (l-r): Barry Fertel, New Rochelle Council member; Greg Varian, former President of the Halcyon Park neighborhood association;