2008 Summer Construction Activity

Joe Ienuso
May 28, 2008

Dear fellow member of the Columbia community,

As part of our mission to maintain a safe, beautiful and functional campus environment, Columbia University Facilities manages a wide array of renovation and improvement projects both on and off campus.    

While construction activity is a year round process, a significant portion of our capital construction program takes place during the summer months, when the reduced campus population makes it logistically possible to complete more work.  This summer we plan to complete over $26 million in construction projects.  Highlights include:

North Campus

  • Continuation of construction of the Interdisciplinary Science Building, which will help fulfill Columbia's great need for science instruction and academic research space

Central Campus

  • Renovation of Low Library's East Gallery, Kings College Room and the Columbiana Room and the East Asian Library in Kent Hall, each of which will help preserve the historic character of our campus

East Campus

  • Start of the renovation of Faculty House - completed in 1923 and part of the original McKim, Mead & White campus plan - which will help ensure that the University community has a modern gathering place for social and intellectual interaction

South Campus

  • Creation of a new student center at Journalism Hall, which will provide a space for Journalism students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni to relax and interact

Off Campus

  • Start of the conversion of Knox Hall at Union Theological Seminary into 50,000 square feet of new academic space for the Sociology and MEALAC departments, Middle East, Southern Asian and African Studies institutes as well as for registrar classrooms which will provide new spaces for interdisciplinary thinking
  • Renovation of several floors in Riverside Church for the Center of the Study of Human Rights and The Committee on Global Thought, which will help improve the quality, breadth, depth, and relevance of the University's academic initiatives

In addition, building façade repairs will be taking place on and off campus in accordance with New York City Local Law 11, which requires the inspection and repair of building façade materials including brick, windows and roofs.  In order to accomplish this work, Facilities will be erecting scaffolding and sidewalk bridging at the perimeter of various buildings both on and off campus. 

As we begin to think about the long-term opportunities for Columbia in Manhattanville, we must also consider the physical infrastructure that will support our new campus.   

  • Phase I of the expansion will require the relocation of existing utilities within the construction perimeter.  This summer, Facilities will begin the relocation of a large, 19th century storm and sanitary waste line that exists under 130th Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue. 

Facilities will make every effort to minimize any inconvenience during this period of increased construction activity.  In addition, we are taking steps to accommodate members of the Columbia community or visitors with disabilities; however, should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388.

For a complete list of summer construction activities, please visit our summer construction map which depicts the buildings under construction and areas that may experience congestion due to construction activity this summer.  For updates on major university construction projects, please visit the Neighbors Web site.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during the construction activity scheduled for this summer.  If you have any questions or concerns about the construction or its impact on your campus experience please contact the Columbia University Facilities Services Center at (212) 854-2222 or e-mail construction related questions to [email protected].  As in years past, Facilities relies on your support to help make our summer program successful.


Joe Ienuso
Executive Vice President
Columbia University Facilities