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May 2002
Future CUNY Facility on Governors Island Announced by Governor and Mayor.
Student Media Conference Addresses "Attack Mentality" after 9/11
Baruch Orients City Council Freshmen
Turning "D"s into Degrees: A CUNY Student Tells How
Life Resumes 500 Feet from Ground Zero
A Diaspora of CUNY Students into Halls of Power
A View to a Krill: Antarctic Expedition by College of Staten Island Scientists
The City University Attracts Talent from Near and Far
CUNY, PSC Announce Agreement on a New Contract
Chancellor Goldstein Initiates New Efficiencies, Greater Student Access to Learning Technology
Pulitzer Prize to Louis Menand
Executive Leadership Program Inaugurated
First Betty Shabazz Chair Appointed at Medgar Evers College
City University Retains New Fundraising Consultant
Former Congressman Dellums to Speak on AIDS at CCNY
City Tech Scholarship For All Four Seasons
Major CCNY Grant for Remote Sensing

Student Development, Enrollment Conference by Mayor

ReBuilding New York

New City College Biomedical Engineering Department

"Trailer Heroes" of BMCC Build at CCNY

A Life of Laura Bridgman—Disabled Pioneer in Education

Exotic Bird Alights at The Graduate Center

 
 

"Trailer Heroes" of BMCC Build at CCNY

Judith Berke, a CUNY Project Coordinator based at City College, reports on the construction of a "blink of the eye" temporary campus for Lower Manhattan students in Morningside Heights.


When Miles and Shirley Fiterman presented 30 West Broadway to Borough of Manhattan Commu-nity College in 1993, history was made: it was the largest capital gift ever given to a United States community college. When Tower 7 came crashing down on it on 9/11, the bad news was just as historic. Renovation of Fiterman Hall (as it was later renamed) was nearing completion, and the building's 82,550 square feet of much-needed classroom space was about to come fully "online."

Much of Fiterman was already in use, and replacing these classrooms became an instant necessity. With downtown space at a premium and much of the neighboring area in chaos, it was impossible to find appropriate rental classroom space quickly. CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Emma Macari issued an all-points plea for immediate assistance from within CUNY and the extended educational community (donations of furniture and equipment came from as far away as Michigan).

Temporary structures were investigated, and, with the help of Chancellor Goldstein, six trailers first intended for the Board of Education were instead speedily delivered to 199 Chambers Street, allowing classes to resume there on October 1.

Within six days of the disaster, CUNY planners had investigated various sites and other campuses for additional temporary structures, and City College was identified as the strongest possibility because of its location in the same borough and the availability of outdoor space in CCNY parking lots.

Enter the "Trailer Heroes," commanded by Joanna Pestka, director of CUNY's Department of Design, Construction, and Management. With many prospective users skeptical that classrooms could be made ready within the blink of an eye, Pestka pulled together a team of architects, engineers and contractors, tenaciously bulldozing obstacles when they arose.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) was able to move on the project immediately because it had a slate of pre-qualified consultants and contractors on call. Helpern Architects and Lakhani & Jordan Engineers quickly prepared contract documents according to the scope of work and obtained expeditious approval of the entire project from all the relevant government offices.

Then Tom Zakarian (the DASNY project manager), TDX Construction, and the contractors—Beys Construction, Kullman Industries, Lund Fire Products, Siemens, and SJ Electric—swung into action to meet the January 27 deadline, the first day of Spring Semester. The challenge: pour 800 concrete piers, install trailers to accommodate 840 students and faculty, and lay out 14,000 square feet of decking, stairs, and ramps be-tween the trailers.

The contractors cooperated on a level not often expe-rienced in the industry, working long hours seven days a week. They kept their eyes on the goal and met that date. As the trailers were connected to electric, to water and heat, everyone began to sense that the first day of classes was really going to be the first day of classes. It took just six weeks to get the trailers installed—the fastest 30,300 square foot installation CUNY has ever experienced.

Of course, CUNY and BMCC made sure there was a "topping off" party where the "trailer heroes" were fed, thanked, and applauded.