February 13, 2018
Statement on the 17 Lex Construction
To Students, Faculty, and Staff:
The Baruch College administration is aware that some students, faculty, and staff members have raised concerns regarding the renovation project currently underway in the Lawrence and Eris Field Building at 17 Lexington Avenue. As you know, this historic building, which was the original home of Baruch College and was built in 1929, is at long last undergoing a badly needed major renovation.
The project is being managed by CUNY, and supervised by the university’s on-site construction manager, the LiRo Group. Baruch’s Campus Facilities unit, under the able leadership of Lisa Edwards, assistant vice president, is also working to address specific concerns as they are identified, either handling them directly where possible or engaging CUNY and LiRo to request immediate action.
I visit the building regularly, and I am certainly aware that conditions are not ideal. So first, I want to say how much I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility, and I am especially grateful for the forbearance of those who work in the building. I know that you are putting up with noise, dust, and elevator delays on a daily basis. As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult to renovate a large building like 17 Lex while continuing to keep it open for classes, science labs, and administrative business. Unfortunately, there simply was no alternative classroom, lab, and office space available at an affordable price anywhere in the vicinity of Baruch that could meet our needs for the duration of this multi-year renovation.
Second, I want to let you know that I and members of the cabinet are taking active steps to remedy problems as soon as they are identified—and to proactively remediate others before they become a serious cause for concern.
Third, I want to assure you that we are fully committed to monitoring conditions in the building on an ongoing basis, and we will continue to engage whenever necessary with responsible officials at CUNY and LiRo to aggressively address all issues. To this point, you will soon see a communication from Katharine Cobb, vice president for administration and finance, which will provide more details on the project, as well as specific instructions, including contact information, on how to report any concerns.
I wish that I could tell you that these conditions are merely a short-term problem that will soon disappear. Unfortunately, I must honestly state that these challenges are likely to be with us for some time to come. I pledge, however, to do everything possible to keep the inconvenience and disruption to a minimum.
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