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Renovating the Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue

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 building systems infrastructure upgrades to the existing building. The project will include new electrical service, modernization of existing elevators, new chiller plant to provide centralized air conditioning, a sprinkler system and emergency generator.  Phase 1A will also include a fully renovated Entrance Lobby along Lexington Avenue that will be fully ADA accessible.  The work of the project will be phased and 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 will be in 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 is in use.  Overhead protection will always be provided where required for overhead work such as the façade investigation or installation of the exterior piping.

Q: Will local traffic be impacted by the renovation during Phase IA?

A: During Phase 1A construction the closing of a parking lane along Lexington Avenue, as well as a portion of a lane along 23rd street spanning the area of the Field Building, is expected. The corresponding impact on traffic, however, should be minimal as 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 prior to 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 Ave.  This is still in development, but it is anticipated that a sidewalk closure and pedestrian walkway  will occur on Lexington Ave. 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 at the conclusion of the work day 3 p.m.  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 IA?

A: Provisions to mitigate noise distribution to the neighborhood are expected to include limiting the opening of the exterior wall to enclose noise from interior demolition, scheduling activities to avoid noisy work outside of normal 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 with 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.  To facilitate the closure, a new entrance will be opened on 23rd Street.  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 glass storefront facing Lexington Avenue.  The new ADA compliant entrance along with modernized elevators will provide ready access for Baruch College students, faculty and staff to the building's classrooms and academic resources.  Upgraded infrastructure will enhance operations of  existing systems and allow for future upgrades and renovation projects.

Q: Will historical details be preserved?

A: The great majority of the building’s historic 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 to make the building compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and to make it 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 whole with the exception of a future addition of new floors with glass walls on the East 23rd Street upper-level floors. When complete, the building will have an aesthetic mix of 1920s architecture with modern accents on the West and North facades

Q: Is Community Board Six involved and updated?

A: The College has met with CB 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 a number of board members as well as area neighbors attended.

Q: If I have a question or concerns, who do I talk to?

For general feedback and other community inquiries, please contact a member of the Baruch College Office of Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs:

Q: Who is involved with the 17 Lex renovation and what is project timeframe for Phase 1?

Start Date:                           1/25/2017
Completion Date:               1/25/2020
Managing Agent:             CUNY Facilities, Planning and Construction Management (FPCM)
Architect:                           Davis Brody Bond
Manager:                            The LiRo Group
Contractor:                         WDF