Sunday, January 26, 2014

Report From Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove - Barging Construction Materials Begins For New Campus, Jane Swanson Joins As Community Liaison And Town Hall Meeting February 5

Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove sends this report to the Roosevelt Island community.

Happy New Year!

2014 is barely underway but it is my great pleasure to share two exciting announcements related to construction of the Cornell Tech campus here on Roosevelt Island: the official start of barging operations, and the addition of a new team member who should be very familiar to Islanders.

Earlier this week, we launched the largest voluntary barging operation in New York City with the arrival of our first barge from New Jersey. The first barge brought over construction materials, empty containers to be filled with demolition materials, and the large crane that moves the materials to and from the barge. By the time this column is published we will likely have begun installation of a site fence, and removed our first load of demolition material via barge, signaling the start of construction and our ongoing effort to minimize the impact of construction on the Island. The first demolition work will be interior demolition, which will include the removal of partitions, walls and ceilings. All of the debris from the interior demolition that needs to be removed will be placed in containers and transported from the site by barge.

In order to maintain public safety during barging operations, the east roadway and promenade will be closed for the duration of the abatement and demolition project – anticipated to be about one year. In order to accommodate traffic to South Point Park and Four Freedoms Park, the west roadway will be modified to accommodate two-way traffic, including the creation of a temporary vehicle turn-around near the west entrance to South Point Park. The roadway modification and construction of the turn-around is expected to take several weeks and, during that time, the west roadway will be closed to all but emergency vehicles. Following the completion of this work, no later than April 1, the west roadway will be re-opened. The west pedestrian promenade will be opened for the entire duration of the abatement and demolition project, including the time when the west roadway will be closed.

The second piece of exciting news is the addition of Jane Swanson to the Cornell Tech team. Many of you know Jane from her years of service to the Island, most recently as chief of staff to Council Member Jessica Lappin. Jane joins the campus as Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations and will work directly with Islanders and others in the City as Cornell Tech’s community liaison. She will spend time at Cornell Tech’s Chelsea Campus and on Roosevelt Island. We couldn’t think of a better person for this role and I know that you will join me in welcoming Jane.

Now that construction is underway, I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunities Cornell Tech is providing to keep informed on the progress of the work. The central clearinghouse for all information related to campus construction is a new website that Cornell Tech created, On the website you can view a map of the worksite, sign up to receive a bi-weekly look-ahead via email that will contain updates on our progress, milestones, and occasional meeting notices; and contact us.

In addition, we will be hosting a town hall meeting on Wednesday, February 5, from 6-8 p.m. at the Manhattan Park Community Center. At this forum, we will introduce ourselves and our partners, provide a full briefing on our plans, and answer any questions that you may have.

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. As construction kicks off I hope that you will keep in touch with us, sharing any questions or concerns, and I hope to see many of you on February 5th.
Here's more on the Roosevelt Island construction barging process from Cornell NYC Tech Director Of Capital Planning Andrew Winters.