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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Roosevelt Island Tech Campus, Best Place To Live, Capabianco Retaining Wall, Good Shepherd Plaza Restoration Update, MTA East Side Access Project Work, PSD/Youth Center Basketball and More Trees


You Tube Video of RIOC President Supporting Roosevelt Island Tech Campus

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. 
Before getting into the issues of the day, I want to offer a belated Thank You to all of Roosevelt Island’s Veterans for their service to our country and community. Hope you all had a great Veterans’ Day.

Roosevelt Island: One of NY’s “Best Places to Live”
The New York Daily News recently featured a two-page spread about Roosevelt Island in its “Best Places to Live in NYC” series. The article basically told readers what every Roosevelt Islander already knows. In fact, the reporter quoted a resident who said, only half- jokingly, “Don’t tell anyone about Roosevelt Island. We want it for ourselves. It’s very quiet, great for families, and the views of the city are tremendous. You get more space for your money.”

Preparing for a Possible High-Tech Campus
We are coming down to the wire. In a few weeks, the city will select a school, or schools, and a site to build an applied science school.

As part of the city’s planning process, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has retained AKRF, a consulting firm, to conduct a Transportation Feasibility Study for Roosevelt Island as it pertains to the redevelopment of the Goldwater Hospital Site.

Similar Feasibility Studies are being conducted at the other potential sites as outlined in the Applied Sciences Facility in New York City RFP issued by NYCEDC on July 19th, 2011.

As part of this study both a manual and automatic traffic count are being conducted. During the week of November 13th, automatic count strips were placed throughout Roosevelt Island to collect traffic volumes. On Tuesday, November 15th and Wednesday, November 16th from 7 am to 6:30 pm, a team of surveyors conducted counts at various locations throughout the island. The surveyors counted vehicles, pedestrians, and transit ridership.

We eagerly await the City’s decision.

PSD and Island Youth Basketball Game
The Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department hosted its 3rd Annual PSD~Youth Center~Connect Basketball Game on November 8 at the Child/Legacy School Gym.
Public Safety Officers played for the Purple Team, while the Beige Team consisted of young men from the Roosevelt Island community, all of whom participate in the Young Adult Sports Program at the RIOC Sportspark facility.

It was a well-played game with the Beige Team squeaking out a 65-58 victory. Players from both teams mingled over food & refreshments after the game, allowing PSD officers to interact with young adults in an informal environment. Thanks to RIOC Board Member Sal Ferrera for providing the venue, to RIOC Vice Presidents Fernando Martinez and Donald Lewis who were in attendance, and to PSD Director Keith Guerra for his ongoing leadership.

Island Repairs and Construction
If you are wondering about the reconstruction of the Capobianco field retaining wall, we anticipate that the contractor will complete the work within the next two weeks. Aside from reconstructing the wall, the contractor will also lay a limestone ledge on top of the brick and create sitting space along the structure.

A second contractor will make repairs to the z-brick sidewalk. Repairs to the wall are being conducted now in order to accommodate future plans to construct professional size and quality ballpark at Capobianco field.

I also wanted to provide you with an update on the repairs to the Good Shepherd Plaza, adding to the information I provided in my column a few weeks ago.

I want to assure all of you that we at RIOC recognize the need to complete work at the plaza, and we share the frustration of residents who feel the project is taking longer than expected.

Unfortunately, the project has been delayed by unexpected problems, including discovery that water had infiltrated the chapel's foundation, causing deterioration. We also found that some of the plaza's concrete substrate had collapsed. These issues have been added to the contractor’s scope of work.

The project was also delayed when RIOC project engineers determined trench drains and the concrete substrate were poorly completed and rejected that portion of the project. As a result, the contractor's staff was replaced and the trench drains were ripped out and reinstalled correctly, at the contractor's expense.

When the project shuts down for the winter, the entire plaza will be opened to the public except for a small staging area in the North West corner of the plaza. The contractors will come back in March to compete the North side of the plaza and the sidewalk in the front of plaza.

East Side Access Project
As part of the East Side Access Project being undertaken by MTA's Capital Construction Team, work is scheduled to be completed on the ventilation facility, near the Roosevelt Island F- Train Station. The Capital Construction team will be performing modifications to the existing ventilation facility commencing on November 28th, 2011. The project is expected to last 9-12 months.

There will be a staging area for the construction in the space that Duane Reade currently uses for unloading. A temporary unloading area will be created on the East side of West drive that will take up a couple of the metered spaces.

NYPA Tree Power Program

In 2010 Roosevelt Island was recognized once again as a Tree City U.S.A. Community. To maintain that status, our Parks and Recreation Department worked with Dr. Ali Schwayri and the Roosevelt Island Tree Board to implement a Tree Replacement program (Tree Power Program). This program will allow RIOC to replace trees as needed and move in the direction of maintaining sustainability on our Island.

In 2009 through our implemented Tree Replacement Program, the Parks and Recreation Department ordered 31 trees through the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association program (NYSNLA) which matched our order, given us a total of 62 trees that were planted Island-wide. This year an order was placed for 21 additional trees which will give us a total of 42 trees to be planted during the fall season. These trees will be in addition to the already replaced trees that were destroyed as a result of Hurricane Irene.

NYSNLA has been partnering with NYPA (New York Power Authority) since 1991 and has planted over 50,000 trees throughout New York State. RIOC looks forward to continuing our work with NYSNLA in order to make the Island a beautiful place for Island residents and visitors.
The links in text of Ms. Torres report were added by me.

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