March 29, 2006

C.U. Plans Construction

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It’s hard to miss the construction all over campus, especially with it eating away more and more parking spaces. However, this parking crunch may be alleviated by Cornell’s plan to add another level to the Hoy Field Parking Garage to provide up to 192 more parking spaces on campus.

The members of the City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board unanimously passed the resolution to build a new level for the garage yesterday in the Common Council Chambers of City Hall.

The new level would add 9’7” to the garage sandwiched between Hoy and Schoellkopf Fields. Construction should begin on June 12, and the garage should be ready for use between Sept. 15 and 30, according to Gary Kochinsky, structural engineer in the Department of Planning, Design and Development, who presented the project to the board. The University-funded projected is estimated to cost $3-4 million.

Kochinsky said that, since the existing bleachers are higher than the proposed new level, any changes in sight and views would be minimal. Another component of the construction would be the electricity to provide lighting for the new level.

The fourth level, currently the top level of the garage, would be completely closed during construction, though some of the other levels could still be used. No contractor has been chosen for the project yet, though bids have been submitted and are being analyzed, according to Kochinsky and Stephen Somogy, principal at HUNT Engineers, Architects & Surveyors.

The proposal for a new physical sciences building, still in the design development stage, was also brought before the board. The new building, proposed to occupy the space between Baker, Clark and Rockefeller Halls will provide room for the Departments of Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Applied and Engineering Physics in the College of Engineering.

The building addresses the need for larger interdisciplinary research, an upgrade of organic chemistry labs and areas with low vibration space for physics research, according to Michael Husar, project manager in the Department of Planning, Design and Construction, who presented the project with Kent Knight, associate principal at Koetter, Kim & Associates, Inc. and Gary Wilhelm, project manager in the Department of Planning, Design and Construction

The plan includes connections from the building to the adjacent buildings on the ground and first floors as well as bridges on the upper level.

The architects also proposed including a café in the building. They plan to break ground in July 2007 and have the building open in the summer of 2010.

Serving about 250 people, the new building is set to house both current and new faculty, staff and graduate students. Husar said that of the new people, there would be four faculty, nine staff and the rest graduate students.

Archived article by Vanessa Hoffman
City Editor