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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Report From Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove - Roosevelt Island Campus Construction To Start Soon, All Demolition Materials To Be Removed By Barge And Community Communications By Web And February Meeting

Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove sends this report to the Roosevelt Island community.
I hope everyone is having a terrific holiday season. At Cornell Tech we have had an enormous amount to celebrate in 2013, including launching the first of our innovative academic programs, engaging more deeply with the community, and hiring terrific faculty and staff.

For me, though, 2014 will be even more exciting, because in addition to all of the great program activity, we will begin the physical development of the new campus on Roosevelt Island. So as we get close to beginning construction, we want to make you aware of the activities that will be occurring in the coming weeks and months.

We have spent over a year doing detailed planning on our approach to construction with the goal of minimizing the impact of construction on the community. We are so pleased that we are able to commit to the largest voluntary barging program in NYC. We are beginning to fulfill this commitment by putting a plan in place where all demolition materials will be removed by barge. In addition, our plan includes many other important construction-related approaches such as strict oversight of environmental conditions and public reporting on these topics.

Starting very soon we will begin delivering materials to the site in preparation for the start of construction. In January we will be installing an 11-foot high fence around the perimeter of the site and will be closing the eastern portion of the esplanade to enable the barging. Soon after, we will begin abating and demolishing the interior of the former Coler-Goldwater Hospital. We are starting with the removal of interior materials. Following that, the structure will be demolished using large equipment. There will not be any blasting. Demolition will be done by the end of 2014.

This is an exciting time and we know that Islanders will have questions and will want to keep informed on the progress of the work. We have put together a comprehensive communications plan to ensure that the project is fully transparent and that you’re kept up to date throughout.

The central clearinghouse for all information related to construction is the new website that Cornell Tech has created for the project, On the website you can find the latest information and sign up for bi-weekly email blasts that will contain updates of our progress, milestones and a general two-week look ahead of what will be occurring on the future campus site.

There will also be regular opportunities to hear about the construction in person. The first of many community meetings on our construction activities will be held on Wednesday, February 5 from 6-8 pm at the Manhattan Park Theatre Club. At this forum we will bring together all of our construction partners to provide a full briefing on our plans and answer any questions that you may have.

We have also created a Construction and Community Task Force with members who include Christina Delfico, Jonathan Kalkin, Matthew Katz, Mark Lyon, Larry Parnes and Ellen Polivy. Also, every City, State and Federal local elected official has staff representation on this committee. We look forward to meeting with this group of Island leaders on a very regular basis.

On behalf of the entire Cornell team, my best wishes to you and your family for a happy and safe holiday season. Thank you for your continued support of Cornell Tech, and I look forward to the opportunity when we can invite you onto campus!
As reported last Friday, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) approved the transfer of RIOC controlled land for the Cornell NYC Tech Roosevelt Island campus contingent upon NY State signing the agreed upon funding memo.