By Graciano Clause
This year will mark York College’s 50th Anniversary since the school was established in 1966, and President Marcia V. Keizs welcomed all students, faculty, and staff and wished them a happy 2016 in a recent email.
Keizs used the email to update the college community on the status of numerous completed and ongoing repairs around the campus.
Phase 1 of the exterior repairs that included scaffolding covering of the Academic Core building is now removed. Last semester a $4.6 million project was put into effect to stop water penetration from the sides and roof of York.
“90 percent of phase one is completed, and the timeline for phase two of this process will be developed upon the receipt of additional capital funding,” Keizs wrote.
The East parking lot including handicapped parking which is located next to the Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center is now open once again after repairs. The project that was called “AC-PAC Heating/Cooling Pipe Replacement,” and involved extensive excavation and plumbing replacement.
Work crews had to dig up large swaths of campus and street surface on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard to replace heating and cooling pipes which run between the Academic Core building and the Performing Arts Center.
The president also hailed the partial repair of escalators that were deemed unsafe and taken out of service last semester. “Safety repairs of the six escalators on the north side of the Academic Core have been completed but wait final inspection,” Keizs said.
The escalators underwent an enhanced safety upgrade after New York City safety inspections revealed that eight escalators needed to meet the current requirements of the NYC Department of Buildings.
“There is more work here and we will update you as we know. Capital projects to maintain and preserve the campus are needed but never without disruption, I am delightful you return to see some progress,” Keizs said.
Looking ahead Keizs renewed her commitment to lobbying for funds to construct York’s proposed Academic Village and Conference Center . The 160,000 square-foot building is slated to house the School of Business and Information Systems, Information Technology, Art Gallery, as well as several student support offices currently located in the Academic Core Building.
“It will be a game changer for our campus and a beacon in the downtown Jamaica area,” Keizs said.