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July 24, 2017

Three DDC Projects Receive Best Project Awards from Engineering News Record

Ian Michaels

Long Island City, NY - Three projects completed by the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) in the last 12 months have been selected to receive “New York Best Project” awards by leading industry publication Engineering News Record, the agency announced today.

DDC’s renovation and expansion of the Irish Repertory Theater in Manhattan received the Award of Merit in ENR’s Cultural category; DDC’s construction of the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Station 50 in Jamaica, Queens won the Award of Merit in the Government/Public Building category; and DDC’s restoration of the South Street Seaport Museum’s Wavertree Historic Vessel won the Best Project award for the category Specialty Contracting.

 Irish Repertory Theatre
A set awaits a performance at the renovated and expanded Irish Repertory Theatre in Manhattan

The renovation and expansion of the 8,240-square-foot Irish Repertory Theatre began in August 2014, with performances returning to the new space in May 2016. The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs funded the $6 million project, which was managed by DDC.

The renovation added 250-square-feet of total space and widened the stage, backstage and storage areas. The venue can now seat 148, ten more than the previous capacity. A new 40-seat balcony replaces the theater’s old side seating section providing unobstructed views of the stage. The height of the performance area was nearly doubled to 27 feet from ground level, and new catwalks help increase lighting capacity by 60 percent. A gallery space, two offices, and new bathrooms were also installed in the second floor of the theater.

Additional improvements included an enhanced audio/visual room which can control a new automated turntable on the stage. Lighting has been added underneath the stairs for increased visibility within the theater. The project also included upgrades to mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems.

FDNY’s Emergency Medical Station 50
The new Emergency Medical Station 50 in Jamaica helps enhance emergency response in Queens

Located on the campus of New York City Health + Hospitals/Queens, the new cantilevered Emergency Medical Station 50 building can house six ambulances and one Major Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV). The 13,000 square-foot, $22 million facility is the largest EMS station in Queens and the home of Queens EMS Borough Command.

Opened in July 2016, the station’s steel superstructure is anchored in a concrete foundation. The taut glass and aluminum exterior surfaces of the building are designed to impart a modern appearance, while the custom concrete walls emulate the tilt of the building and interact with the flashing lights of emergency vehicles. The building’s cantilevered design protects underground utilities that serve the adjacent hospital, while the signature red overhead garage doors instantly identify that the building is part of FDNY.

The building includes locker rooms, a kitchen area, and a fitness center for FDNY personnel. Emergency Medical Station 50 will run 30 Basic and Advanced Life Support ambulance tours daily, as well as six conditions cars operated by FDNY EMS Officers.

FDNY’s Emergency Medical Station 50
The Wavertree Historic Vessel returning to the South Street Seaport in September 2016 following a full renovation by DDC

The 270-foot-long, three-masted Wavertree is a former cargo vessel built in Southampton, England in 1885, and is the first ship worked on by the DDC. Work began in May 2015 when the ship was towed to Caddell Dry Dock & Repair on the north shore of Staten Island, and was funded by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. The 132-year-old national historic vessel and is the world’s last remaining wrought-iron sailing ship

The Wavertree returned to the South Street Seaport Museum in September 2016 following a 16-month, $13 million restoration. The entire hull, Main deck, Poop Deck, and Forward and Quarterdecks were reinforced, with close to a quarter-million pounds of steel renewed throughout the ship. Interior and exterior surfaces were recoated with over 2,200 gallons of modern marine epoxy paints and other materials. The rigging, masts, and yards were replaced or restored, and internal crew and bunk areas were completely renovated.

The renovation also added new features that were built at the Museum’s request. A catwalk was installed up above the Main Deck, and an almost completely new deck was added below – the Tween Deck – which converts some of the ship’s large internal cargo area into additional exhibit space.

Mechanically, the ship has a new electrical system and new LED lighting. The rudder and steering mechanisms were completely rehabilitated, and there is a new internal ventilation system. Deep in the hull, 128 old concrete blocks weighing two tons each and 204 tons of cobblestone ballast was removed and replaced with concrete slurry, creating a new, larger open hold space.

Judges for this year’s ENR awards included James Mooney, Head of EH&S, Lendlease; Delia Shumway, Director of Projects, New Line Structures; Anthony Attanasio, Executive Director, Utility & Transportation Contractors Association; Christopher Mills, Executive Vice President, Plaza Construction; Denise Berger, Assistant Chief Engineer/Operations, Engineering Department, The Port Authority of NY & NJ; Andrew Hollweck, Senior Vice President, New York Building Congress; Donal O'Sullivan, President and CEO, Navillus Contracting; and Howard Rowland, President EW Howell Construction Group.

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 lenses 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, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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