Funding Set for Fiterman Hall DeconstructionNov 13, 2008
Plans, approvals, and the physical abatement of Fiterman Hall are all veritably complete, and now the final funding is in place to demolish the structure. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that the city will commit $139 million to the deconstruction of Fiterman Hall. With a total cost of $325 million, the difference will come from the state, federal government, and insurance claims.
The mayor thanked state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for helping push the project forward in Albany, as well as other local leaders including Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilman Alan Gerson, and DASNY Executive Director Paul T. Williams Jr.
Fiterman Hall was donated to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in 1993 by Miles and Shirley Fiterman. On September 11, 2001, the 15-story multi-use building was damaged beyond repair, becoming subject to contamination and the insurance-claim process.
Its owners, the City University of New York (CUNY) and Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), worked closely with regulators from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state Department of Labor, and other agencies to begin the abatement process last March.
“The first and most important task has been to safely decontaminate Fiterman Hall,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s a highly complex process that could only begin after the insurance claims for the damage to the building had been settled.”
Speaker Silver added, “our announcement today marks an essential step in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. It is also great news for BMCC students, faculty and staff, and for everyone who lives and works in Lower Manhattan.”
Now, nine months since work began, the building is cleaned down to its bare concrete. Consultant Airtek Environmental has monitored its perimeter to ensure safe air quality, while the Fire Department continually tests Fiterman Hall’s standpipes, emergency exits, and other safety equipment. Meanwhile, regular advisory committee meetings have helped keep the community updated about the project over the years.
Abatement is slated to end by February 2009, when the college should have final deconstruction plans ready and approved. With funding now secured, deconstruction will begin in spring 2009. Barring any delays, the mayor says the damaged building will be down in a year, by fall 2009 — on the way to a new Fiterman Hall opening in spring 2012.
Mayor Bloomberg said, “It’s critical that we now keep the momentum going for pressing ahead with the next phases of work: Demolishing the existing building constructing the new one.”