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Four DDC Projects in Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island Receive Awards at CMAA “Project of the Year” Banquet

June 14, 2019

DDC: Ian Michaels, 718-391-1589,

(Long Island City, NY – June 14, 2019) Two NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) projects in Queens, one in Manhattan and one in Staten Island received construction awards today from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Metro New York/New Jersey chapter. The awards were presented at a banquet at the Yale Club in Manhattan, where DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo was the keynote speaker.

“Professional construction managers understand very well the challenges and obstacles DDC has to overcome to deliver world-class project such as these to the people of New York,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “That makes the recognition of the CMAA very meaningful. Congratulations to all the DDC staff who worked on these great projects.”

DDC’s reconstruction of the skylight at the Surrogate’s Court Building in lower Manhattan received Honorable Mention in the category of “Project of the Year” under $20 million. The project completely replaced the building’s historic central atrium skylight, with restoration of the atrium laylight ceiling and plaster lunettes. Also included was complete renovation of the heating/ventilation system of the interstitial space between the skylight and the laylight ceiling. Cast-iron frames that held 2,100 hexagonal glass blocks on the skylight were all re-cast and new glass block with the original historic design markings were installed. Existing perimeter marble cornices were repaired and restored to the original finish.


The restored skylight above the atrium of the Surrogate’s Court Building at 31 Chambers Street in lower Manhattan

DDC’s reconstruction of the Staten Island Zoo Aquarium received the “2019 Project of the Year” in the Owner Managed category. The full reconstruction of the aquarium and the Zoo’s main building foyer replaced 15 small tanks with four large tanks, each representing various marine habitats. Three new high-efficiency boilers were added in the building’s cellar and new energy-efficient HVAC units were installed on the roof. New lighting and new flooring were installed for the comfort and safety of visitors, and new life support systems for marine life were added beneath the aquarium’s main floor, with pumps, plumbing and filters capable of managing saltwater and freshwater environments. Also Included is a modern audio-visual system to support interactive and interpretive features of the aquarium. The project was completed six months ahead of schedule.


Four new floor-to-ceiling tanks are featured at the newly rebuilt Staten Island Zoo Aquarium

Two public plazas projects in Queens that DDC managed for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) were also recognized by CMAA for their use of M/WBE contractors. The reconstruction of Corona Plaza received the “Project of the Year” award in the category of M/WBE Managed.

Originally created on an interim basis by DOT in 2012, Corona Plaza was built out by DDC in stone and concrete, adding a new performance space with built-in seating. New plantings, including trees and shrubs, integrate the space with parkland. The plaza also includes new pedestrian lighting, a drinking fountain, power supply for performances, WalkNYC wayfinding, bike racks to serve commuters, an automatic pay toilet and a mixture of fixed and movable furniture.


The rebuilt Corona Plaza sits adjacent to the 103rd Street station on the 7 train in Queens

The other Queens plaza project to be recognized by CMAA was Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, which received Honorable Mention for “Project of the Year” in the M/WBE Managed category. The plaza encompasses two blocks and a large traffic island near the busy Roosevelt Avenue subway station, increasing pedestrian space, calming traffic and beautifying a heavily used area around one of the City’s busiest transportation hubs. The two block stretch, which was converted into pedestrian space in 2012, features new trees, raised planters, bike racks, moveable furniture, wayfinding signage as well as open space for performances.


The rebuilt Diversity Plaza calms traffic and expands pedestrian space in Jackson Heights, Queens

Last year, DDC’s historic renovation of the 120th Precinct in Staten Island received Honorable Mention for “Project of the Year Award” in the category of Owner Managed.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit