FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, SPEAKER SILVER, CUNY CHANCELLOR GOLDSTEIN AND DORMITORY AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WILLIAMS ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT FOR REBUILDING OF FITERMAN HALL
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City University Chancellor Dr. Matthew Goldstein and Paul T. Williams Jr., Executive Director of the Dormitory of Authority of the State of New York, representing Governor David A. Paterson, today announced an agreement to fund the demolition of Fiterman Hall and the construction of a new classroom building for the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in its place. Fiterman Hall, a 15-story building adjacent to the World Trade Center site, was scheduled to open as a classroom building in the fall of 2001. Before classes could meet there, the building was damaged and contaminated with debris during the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Decontamination and demolition of the building will be completed in 2009. The announcement was made at the BMCC Richard Harris Terrace.
"This site is an essential part of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, and of our vision of making Lower Manhattan a vibrant 24-7 community," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I'm delighted that, as completion of the demolition phase of the project approaches, this new agreement will allow us to seamlessly press ahead with the next phases of work at the Fiterman Hall site."
"Our announcement today marks an essential step in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. It is also great news for BMCC students, faculty and staff, and for everyone who lives and works in Lower Manhattan," said Speaker Silver (D-Manhattan). "I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the CUNY administration for their commitment to moving this project forward. I also want to note CUNY's focus on safety and security as they have dealt with the complex issues relating to the existing Fiterman Hall structure."
"A new Fiterman Hall is a major step forward in our efforts to rebuild lower Manhattan," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. "This agreement among the City, the State and CUNY will ensure a vibrant future for this downtown neighborhood."
"In this difficult economic climate, the rebuilding of Fiterman Hall is a powerful signal to our entire nation that New York City is moving forward by investing in higher education," said Chancellor Goldstein. "I am very pleased that we will be able to complete the remediation work by the spring and the building's demolition by next summer. I extend my deepest appreciation to Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Silver and their colleagues from the City and the State."
"This project marks a great step forward in the continuing redevelopment and revitalization of lower Manhattan," said DASNY Executive Director Paul T. Williams Jr.. "The Dormitory Authority is proud to partner with the City of New York and CUNY to build a new Fiterman Hall which will provide a critical educational building that will help insure the continued growth of the Borough of Manhattan Community College."
BMCC, which was originally designed to accommodate some 10,000 students, today serves more than twice that number. The new building will help relieve overcrowded classrooms. This project will cost $325 million, $139 million of which has been appropriated by the City. The balance will be funded by the State and CUNY. The decontamination of Fiterman Hall started in March, and the decontamination and demolition is expected to be completed in 2009. The new building is expected to be ready for occupancy by the spring of 2012.
The City has been part of the community advisory panel established by CUNY to ensure the decontamination is being done safely and with community input.
The new Fiterman Hall lobby will include a public café,
as well as an in-house café for use by students and faculty. The public café
will open to a south-facing terrace directly across the street from the newly
completed park. The building will be occupied by the classrooms and offices of
various BMCC departments, including Music, Art, Business, Accounting, and Ethnic
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Daniel Weiller (Speaker Silver) (518) 455-3888
Michael Arena (CUNY) (212) 794-5581
Marc Violette (DASNY) (518) 257-3382
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