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$60 million Gates Hall opens at Cornell

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: $60 million Gates Hall opens at Cornell
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After two years of construction, a $60 million project wraps up at Cornell University. Tamara Lindstrom takes a look at a brand new building, that Bill Gates helped to fund.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The new Computing and Information Science building at Cornell University might look a little familiar.

"It's designed a lot like they did Google and Amazon and Yahoo," said Senior Project Manager John Keefe. "It's sort of an industrial type atmosphere."

The $60million Bill and Melinda Gates Hall was funded in part by the former Microsoft CEO's charitable foundation.

And after two years of construction, students and staff are settling in.

"Enrollments have exploded. There are students in every single discipline, every single college taking our classes now. Some of our classes are 500 people or more," said Amy Gergely, CIS Director of External Relations.

The building brings together the Computer Science and Information Science departments, which used to be spread across campus.

"The mission of CIS is to collaborate across disciplines," Gergely said. "And as you can imagine, being in different places all across campus it was difficult for people to get together in a spontaneous way and talk about potential collaborations."

"Especially around the atrium where students can sit, pull up their laptop and overlook the atrium, overlook the ballpark and do their work," Keefe said.

The building stands out with exterior fixtures that draw a lot of curious looks.

"The idea is to evoke the feeling that the things that are happening inside this building are kind of rolling off of it to the rest on campus and infiltrating all the rest of the colleges and schools and disciplines," Gergely said.

Gates Hall was is designed to connect directly to the new New York City tech campus, with microphones and cameras bringing people in Ithaca and Roosevelt Island face to face.

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