by Alyssa Velazquez & Stephen Zubrycky
Editor & Editor-in-Chief
Manhattan College is reconstructing the facade of Memorial Hall.
The ongoing work on Memorial Hall is the final phase of a massive construction project undertaken by the college this summer. De La Salle Hall’s facade had been redone earlier in the summer.
The work began on May 20, the day after the 2017 Spring Undergraduate Commencement.
The college contracted Pavarini Northeast Construction, Co., which was also the general contractor for jobs including the construction of the Broadway Garage, Lee Hall and Kelly Commons.
“Any places on those buildings where there was facade damaged issues over time, they’re repairing those,” Andrew Ryan, vice president of facilities for the college, said.
The main staircase leading from the McNeil Quad – commonly known as the “mini-Quad” – to the front of Memorial Hall has been completely replaced, and remains shut to traffic.
The ongoing phase of the work has resulted in traffic diversions in and around Memorial Hall.
Currently, the Miguel Hall arch and the south half of the De La Salle arch remain closed. The southern walkway along the Quad by Memorial Hall is also closed.
The work was initially expected to be complete before the start of the fall semester. But as work began, the contractor began to encounter problems, especially in the two arches that flank Memorial Hall.
“Whenever you’re doing facade work there are always unforeseen conditions and we did run into those, significant ones, on the two arches,” Ryan said.
Renovations like the ones being carried out right now come with the territory, Ryan argued.
“[The buildings are] from the 1920s, vintage, all of those buildings so… over time you end up with some facade issues on the buildings and they have been addressed in part by the college,” Ryan said.
Faculty and staff near the area where the work is still ongoing do not seem to mind the disruption all that much, including Brother Patrick J. Horner, Ph.D., professor of English, whose Miguel Hall 402 office overlooks the Quad.
“The only thing here is you can’t get up the stairway under this arch, okay, but I usually take the elevator in Memorial anyway,” Horner said. “It hasn’t had much impact on me.”
Antonio Cordoba, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern languages and literatures, whose Memorial Hall office overlooks the scaffolding on the Quad, agreed.
“The noise hasn’t been bothering me. I just try to kind of dust the place,” Cordoba said, adding that his office has been more dusty than usual during the work.
Karen Nicholson, Ph.D., dean of education, emphasizes the fact that though the scaffolding is not the most aesthetically pleasing it shows the type of position the college is financially.
Nicholson refers back to the summer when she would overhear guests who were attending one of the summer conferences that were held at the college.
“But on the other hand you kept hearing people say ‘oh it’s really nice you’re able to do that and you’re putting resources in,” Nicholson said.
According to Ryan, the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. But once this job is done, Ryan foresees a busy academic year for his department.
By the end of the school year, the college plans to have started work on the new “south campus” venture, which includes a new residence hall and an extension to Leo Engineering Building.