Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Cornell/Technion Task Force Update Meeting Tonight, Will Cornell Address Residents Health And Safety Concerns Over Main Street Truck Traffic And Use Barges For Demolition And Construction - What's The Benefit To Roosevelt Island Asks Resident?
Cornell NYC Tech Proposed Campus (page 23 CB 8 Presentation)
The Community Board 8 (CB 8) Roosevelt Island Cornell/Technion Task Force will be meeting tonight to receive an update from Cornell NYC Tech representatives and feedback from Roosevelt Island residents. According to CB 8:
Meeting Date:During October 22 Roosevelt Island Cornell/Technion Task Force Meeting, Skidmore Owings Associate Director Colin Koop discussed the Master Plan For The Cornell NYC Tech Campus as part of full presentation by Cornell NYC Tech representatives.
Monday, November 26, 2012 - 6:45pm
The Manhattan Park Theater Club
8 River Road
Roosevelt Island, NY
1. An update by Cornell University on the Technology Graduate School on Roosevelt Island
2. A short presentation on green buildings and a request to use locally manufactured construction materials on the Cornell/Technion. Project by the Technical Services for the International Masonry Institute and Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Union.
3. Feedback from Roosevelt Island residents on their issues/concerns
During the October 22 meeting, Roosevelt Island residents expressed strong disapproval of plans by Cornell NYC Tech to use trucks in the demolition and construction process on Roosevelt Island's only street - Main Street. Great concern was voiced over the detrimental health impact as well as traffic problems caused by the use of trucks but some say these concerns could be mitigated by the use of barges instead of trucks. Here's what one resident, Ali Schwaryi had to say about the use of trucks on Main Street.
Another resident, Theresa Munfakh asked what benefit will Roosevelt Island receive from being the home of Cornell NYC Tech other than its mere presence - how will Cornell NYC Tech improve Roosevelt Island outside the area of its immediate campus she asked.
During the November 8 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) Ms. Munfakh made the following points regarding Cornell NYC Tech's Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS):
1) The DEIS/EIS should state clearly that Barging is the method of transportation during the construction to bring material in and out. Trucking method should not be considered.Also during the November 8 RICC meeting, CB 8 member and RICC Counsel Jeffrey Escobar explained the process required for the Cornell NYC Tech project to be
2) During the demolition of the hospital, all the hazardous material should be transported by barging. RI should not accept any other way.
3) There is no specific information concerning the type of foundations to be used. The concerns is if and what explosive materials are needed and the method of transportation. We all remember what happened recently on Second Avenue Subway Project.
4) The DEIS/EIS should include the right of Residents of RI to hire engineering firm /law firm to protect and assure that whatever is agreed upon will be executed and shall be paid by the city.
5) By closing the hospital and during construction, the residents of RI will be losing around 1,000 persons between staff and patients. That relates to loosing in revenue to the island for few years. Is it possible to figure the amount and do something about it?
6) RI has many old and beautiful trees that have to be protected and saved during construction. DEIS/ EIS should state clearly the method of protection.
7) RI as is has its own charm and surrounded by natural beauty. Cornell Science Center should not claim that the Center would beautify the Island. In reality it might create a negative impact.
8) Cornell Center project should include as a good gesture the replacement of the railing along the promenade. The Center will be using it as much as and could be more than RI Residents. The existing railing is deteriorated and does not meet NY City Building Code.
9) The restaurants/ retails that the Center intents to share with the residents of RI is because the 6oo students will not generate the required revenue and profits to attract and maintain businesses . The opposite could be true. After the Center maximizes its occupants, there will be a strong possibility to exclude RI Residents from its use. The Center can use safety and security as excuses to do that. We see this happening in Octegon. Outsiders cannot use its facility freely. The DEIS/EIS should state that this will never happen.
10) The mitigation Chapter requires more detail information in relation to cost, resource of the budget and who will implement these recommended mitigations.
11) What will be the solution for the unmitigated areas? Are we supposed to accept a problem without a solution?
12) While Cornell Center received the ground lease for no cost and the cost of construction, the case is not the same to RI. The staff and students will be using our facilities and benefiting from RI without adding their fare share to the cost of operation and maintenance. Rivercross pays RIOC annual fees. Does this apply to Cornell Center? It should, and it should be mentioned in the DEIS/EIS. The operation cost is to cover for:
a) Maintenance of the infrastructure/ roadways/ Utilities.
b) Repair and Maintenance of the Promenade
c) Repair/replace the railing along the promenade
d) Operating cost to maintain the safety, cleaning, etc... e) Maintaining the Helix ramp....
Let's see if Cornell listened to Roosevelt Island residents during the October 22 meeting and have come up with some solutions to address the concerns expressed.
Here's the link to the Cornell DEIS and full video from the October 22 CB 8 Roosevelt Island Cornell/Technion meeting.