Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What will Phase 1A involve, and how long will it take?
A: Phase 1A involves major structural and architectural modifications to allow for systems and infrastructure upgrades. The project will include updated electrical service, modernization of elevators, a new chiller plant to provide centralized air conditioning, a sprinkler system, and an emergency generator. Phase 1A will also include a fully renovated entrance lobby along Lexington Avenue that will be fully ADA accessible. Construction is anticipated to take three years.
Q: What is being done to ensure safety throughout the construction process?
A: The fundamental approach for a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and the public involves maintaining a clear separation between construction and college and neighborhood activities. College and public areas that will remain open during Phase 1A will be separated from construction by interior partitions and exterior fencing. Additionally, a pedestrian pathway with overhead protection will be provided surrounding the construction area to provide safe passage for those traveling adjacent to the site.
Note: There will be areas where pedestrian overhead protection will not be provided. The contract specifically identifies protection be provided throughout the duration of the project in the alleyways between 17 Lex, 135, and 137 E. 22nd Street and along 23rd Street when the 23rd Street entrance is in use. Overhead protection will always be provided where required for overhead work, such as the facade investigation or installation of the exterior piping.
Q: Will local traffic be impacted by the renovation during Phase 1A?
A: During Phase 1A construction, the closing of a parking lane along Lexington Avenue and a portion of a lane along 23rd street spanning the Field Building area is expected. However, the corresponding impact on traffic should be minimal. Neither closure will affect lanes normally used for through-traffic. The lane along Lexington Avenue is primarily used for parking, and the area along 23rd Street follows a bus drop-off area, just before the MTA bus stop.
Note: Due to adjacent projects and meetings with DOT, a traffic lane must be kept open at all times along Lexington Avenue. This is still in development, but it is anticipated that a sidewalk closure and pedestrian walkway will occur on Lexington Avenue. On 23rd Street, there will be a lane closure and pedestrian walkway placed in the street during working hours, which will be re-opened each day after 3 pm. We will also be relocating the bus stop on 23rd Street.
Q: What is being done to limit construction noise in the area during Phase 1A?
A: Limiting the exterior wall’s opening to enclose noise from interior demolition, scheduling activities to avoid noisy work outside of regular working hours, and focusing work to enclose new building areas in as short a time as possible.
Q: How will pedestrians navigate around the site?
A: Throughout construction, pedestrians will be provided safe access to the building via clearly marked pathways. Access to the building will be provided either through the Lexington Avenue entrance or the 23rd Street entrance depending on construction operations. The designated path will be safe and will separate pedestrians from all traffic flow.
Q: Will building access for employees, students, and deliveries be impacted by the construction Phase 1A?
A: Access to the building will be maintained at all times throughout construction. In the early phases of the project, the entrance on Lexington Avenue will remain open. As the project advances, work to the Lexington Avenue entrance and new lobby will require that the entrance be closed. A new entrance will be opened on 23rd Street when this occurs. Notification and signage will be provided well in advance to notify occupants of coming changes to the building access.
Q: What will be different about the building once Phase 1A is complete?
A: The building will have a new entrance lobby designed with a glass front facing Lexington Avenue, providing airy interior space. The new ADA compliant entrance and modernized elevators will provide access for all Baruch College students, faculty, and staff to the building’s classrooms and academic resources. Upgraded infrastructure will enhance comfort and efficiency. The building will be safer with new security and emergency systems.
Q: Will historical details be preserved?
A: The great majority of the building’s historical details will be preserved. This is reflected in the decision not to raze the building and construct a new one. The only visible modification will be to open up the front entrance facade on Lexington Avenue. This makes the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and more welcoming to the public. The original lighting fixtures flanking the Lexington Avenue entrance have been meticulously restored and relocated to the 23rd Street entrance. All other architectural details of the facade will remain intact except for the future addition of new floors with glass walls on the East 23rd Street upper-level floors. The building will have an aesthetic mix of 1920s architecture with modern accents on the West and North facades when complete.
Q: Is Community Board Six involved and updated?
A: The College has met with Community Board Six’s Development Task Force and has received overwhelming support for the thoughtful planning around the upcoming renovation. The College also held a Community Update Forum in May 2012, which several board members and neighbors attended.
Q: If I have a question or concerns, who do I talk to?
For general feedback and other community inquiries, please contact Baruch College’s Office of Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs.
Director of Government and Community Relations
Q: Who is involved with the 17 Lex renovation and what is the project timeframe for Phase 1A?
- Start Date: 1/25/2017
- Completion Date: 1/25/2020
- Managing Agent: CUNY Facilities, Planning and Construction Management (FPCM)
- Architect: Davis Brody Bond
- Construction Manager: The LiRo Group
- General Contractor: WDF