Renovating LaGuardia Community College

Staff | September 28, 2010

Citadel Construction has been selected as general contractor for a multiphased, 46,000-square-foot renovation spanning several floors in the massive C-Building or "Center 3" on the main campus of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY.

The project, which will create new classroom space and administrative/executive offices, is part of the state and city's overall commitment to upgrade institutions of higher learning by maintaining "grade A" learning environments on all campuses.

As the renovation begins, the entire team — consisting of project managers URS Corporation, Helpern Architects, and engineers Kallen & Lemelson — is applying innovative methods to negotiate the unique characteristics of the sprawling 10-story, turn-of-the-20th-century structure with the utmost precision.

First, the building's history poses a rather unusual task: removing a dormant, 12-story grain elevator encased in an exterior shaft attached to the building. Center-3, once known as the "Thousand Window Bakery," is the former manufacturing plant and warehouse facility for Sunshine Biscuits. To facilitate the grain elevator's removal, Citadel is erecting scaffolding around the structure to protect the surrounding area during the meticulous piece-by-piece dismantling.

In addition, since classes will remain in session, the project team needs to create a customized site safety program ensuring the well-being of students and other tenants at all times. Citadel Construction is implementing the plan by segmenting off work zones from the student population with temporary walls; mapping out specific, unobstructed egress routes; and using a badging system to regulate and expedite trade mobility. As the college shares Center-3 with other tenants, Citadel is also soundproofing work sites and regulating trade flow through specified pathways.

Phil Pignatelli, Citadel's project executive on the job, says, "Protecting the safety and security of the students and other tenants and providing a clean environment are our top priorities."

Following a tight, 12-month schedule, the LaGuardia Community College renovation is slated for completion by June 2009.