2009 Summer Construction Activity

Office of the Executive Vice President
July 09, 2009

Columbia University Facilities manages a wide array of renovation and improvement projects both on and off campus year round as part of our mission to maintain a safe, beautiful and functional campus environment.  A significant portion of our construction program takes place during the summer months, when the reduced campus population makes it possible to complete work.  Highlights of this summer’s construction activity include:


Northwest Corner Building

Continuation of construction on the new 188,000 square feet Northwest Corner Building at 120th and Broadway. The building will house new laboratory research space, new library, café and lecture hall and will help fulfill Columbia's great need for science instruction and academic research space.


Faculty House

Completion of the renovation of Faculty House at 116th Street and Morningside Drive into a premier event space and modern gathering place for social and intellectual interaction.


Alfred Lerner Hall

Renovation of the sixth floor of Lerner to house the Dean of Student Affairs' suite, the Office of Financial Aid and Educational Financing, and the Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards.  These renovations will support the expansion of the current Center for Student Advising which will create a central physical space for student advising and provide students with streamlined, accessible resources.


Knox Hall

Continuation 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.


The University’s Manhattanville campus plan received its final public approval last month when New York State’s Public Authorities Control Board approved the General Project Plan for the 17-acre expansion.  The unanimous vote, by the five-member PACB representing the governor, State Senate and Assembly, is the last step in the public review process for the University’s long-term expansion plan. It affirms the decision late last year by New York State’s economic development agency, the Empire State Development Corp. to support Columbia’s proposal to transform the former industrial blocks primarily between Broadway and 12th Avenue into a mixed-use academic campus that would include public open space and extensive street-level commercial, civic and cultural activity.

In recent months, the University began preliminary work to relocate utility lines, such as sewer pipes and water mains underneath Broadway -- an essential step in the pre-construction process now fully underway with the final state approvals. This summer, in addition to the continuation of work related to the utility lines, the University will also begin mobilizing for the demolition/abatement of certain University properties.  Please visit our Web site at http://campusplan.columbia.edu for up-to-date information on the project. 


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. 

For a complete list of summer construction activities, please view 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.

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.

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.