Carey Building Construction Update, 9/2015

7 09 2015

Just a quick update on the Carey Building addition at 314-320 East State Street in downtown Ithaca. As of the end of the month, structural steel has reached the top floor of the five-story addition, though it has yet to fully build out. The lower floors have been decked with corrugated sheet metal, and concrete floor pours might already be underway on the lower levels.

Paperwork filed with the county last Friday indicates that Tompkins Trust is providing the construction loan, with a value of $4,736,000, of which the very precise figure of $4,642,554.46 is going towards “hard” construction costs. Hard construction costs leave out legal fees, permit fees, and other costs not directly related to construction. The paperwork indicates a February 2017 completion date, but that’s more of a legal date than an actual date. The addition is likely to completed early next year.

The Carey Building addition will add a third floor and 4,200 SF to the Rev business incubator (nearly doubling it from 4,500 SF to 8,700 SF), and on floors 4-7, there will be 20 apartments, most of which are studios. Local firm Travis Hyde Companies is developing, John Snyder Architects penned the design, and LeChase Construction is the general contractor.

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206 Taughannock Boulevard Construction Update, 9/2015

4 09 2015

Over on Inlet Island, another project is in the home stretch towards completion. “The Apartments at 206”, Mark Zaharis’s mixed-use project at 206 Taughannock Boulevard, is mostly completed on the outside, with minor cement-board trim installation and painting ongoing. There might be some further exterior work planned with sunscreens and such, but it’s difficult to be sure since the built design doesn’t match the rendering.

A peek through the back door showed drywall being hung on the wood framing, and some utilities rough-in still going in. The project is a gut renovation of a former furniture store and warehouse, so the owners had quite a task with rebuilding the interior.

According to an older gentleman working on the site, the apartments “should be ready in two or three months, keep an eye out.” There will be four one-bedroom and three two-bedroom units, along with office space on the first floor.

Local architect Claudia Brenner penned the design of the renovated building. Last year, Brenner designed the renovation of the Lehigh Valley House next door into a mixed-use building with ground-floor commercial space, donated space for the recently-opened branch office of the IPD, and six condominiums. The Zaharises, who owned and managed the furniture store before it closed in Spring 2014, are the developers-in-charge.

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Ecovillage Construction Update, 9/2015

3 09 2015

The last stages of work are underway at Ecovillage on Ithaca’s West Hill off of Mecklenburg Road on Rachel Carson Way. Construction on the single-family homes in Ecovillage’s third neighborhood, “TREE” (Third Residential Ecovillage Experience, following its first two, FROG and SONG) has been complete for a little while now, but the 15-unit Common House has yet to be completed. The exterior has been finished, with attractive wood-frame balconies swaddling the building, but interior work (drywall boarding and painting, from the looks of it) is still taking place.

The 15 apartments range from 450 SF studios to 1,400 SF three bedroom units. Rental prices for the apartment units have not been posted. According to Ecovillage Executive Director Liz Walker, “The current goal is October 1st for completion. There will still be inspections after that, so it will be perhaps the end of October or November before people are able to move in.”

Construction is being handled by a local company, AquaZephyr, which received an award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy for a “zero energy ready” home constructed as part of TREE. The designs of the Common House and houses are the work of California architect Jerry Weisburd, with local firm STREAM Collaborative handling the permitting process and design tweaks after Weisburd’s retirement.

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Cornell Veterinary School Expansion Construction Update, 9/2015

2 09 2015

In an attempt to avoid the correct but lengthy word jumble this is, I’m just going to refer to this as the Vet School Expansion. Even then, in terms of physical square footage, expansion is something of a misnomer. The plan calls for the demolition of 68,000 SF of space, the addition of 65,000 SF of space, and the renovation of 33,000 SF. In sum, 3,000 SF less space than which the vet school started with.

However, it’s less about space and more about efficiency. The plans include renovation and expansion of classrooms, teaching laboratories, cafeteria, locker rooms and shower facilities, and a combined Tower Road entrance. In the photos below, the entry plaza and the James Law Auditorium have been torn down. In its place will rise a new three-story addition that will house the vet school’s Flower-Sprecher Library. Parts of Schurman Hall will also be demolished and replaced with a new 2.5 story gallery/courtyard space. Extensive interior renovation will cluster classrooms, labs and service space, improving circulation through the numerous interconnected buildings that comprise the Vet School. The Vet Research Tower will be reclad in lighter, more transparent glass to match the new additions. The design of the expansion is a product of NYC firm Weiss/Manfredi, a Cornell favorite.

Renovations will increase the class size from 102 DVM students to 120 DVM students. Since a DVM degree takes four years, that means an additional 72 students.

Phase one for the vet school expansion is well underway, having a roughly January 2015- January 2016 time frame. The second phase will pick up immediately after the first and run from January 2016 to June 2017.

The budget for both phases is $74.1 million, with funds coming from the SUNY Construction Fund and private sources.

On a humorous note, while going through the project page on the architect’s website, I found an image of a lecture hall with some token presentation slides (last image). The placeholder image is a screenshot I had taken of the Cornell Master Plan back in 2008. Surprise surprise. For the record, I’m totally okay with it (even though I hate the screenshot, dating from the days before I thought to crop images).

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Klarman Hall Construction Update, 9/2015

1 09 2015

Klarman Hall is entering the home stretch now, just a few months from its anticipated January 2016 completion (and a few weeks behind the December 2015 date initially planned). Montour Falls-based Construction firm Welliver is busy sealing up the building’s exterior, while putting up drywall, painting and finishing-out the interior lower floors, and wrapping up services rough-in in the upper level offices.

From the looks of it, most if not all of the sandstone exterior wall panels have been installed. The vestibule has been framed out but has yet to be glazed (window installation), and while the atrium has been glazed, the glass-paneled roof above the atrium has not. Concrete stairs have been poured on the slope, and the rest of the landscaping will follow after the building has been completed and the warm, snowless weather of spring comes around. Construction progress of the project can be followed through aerial photos shared by Landmark Images here.

The 33,250 sq ft building was designed by Koetter | Kim & Associates, and is named for billionaire hedge fund manager Seth Klarman ’79. The building will be the first new humanities building on Cornell’s campus since Goldwin Smith Hall was built onto the old dairy science building in 1906. Just like Cornell did with Goldwin Smith over a century ago, the new building will be combined with the old building through hallways and commons areas. Klarman Hall will contain classrooms, faculty and graduate student offices, and in its the north section, a 350-seat auditorium. The large interior atrium makes use of the rotunda of Goldwin-Smith Hall for open-layout seating, a food/cafe area, and ingress/egress. Cornell is aiming to have the building achieve LEED Platinum certification.

The cost of the new building, which began construction in May 2013, is estimated at $61 million.


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Gannett Health Center Construction Update, 9/2015

31 08 2015

It wouldn’t be Cornell if they didn’t have at least a few construction projects underway on their campus, and this summer has been no exception. Here are some photos of the Gannett Health Center expansion taken last weekend.

The poured concrete stairwells are probably the first thing passersby notice, given that they’re the tallest structures on-site (construction cranes notwithstanding). The western stairwell has been fully poured and topped out, while the eastern stairwell is currently underway. Look closely and you’ll see the wooden forms used on the concrete. These forms provide stability and shape while the concrete hardens, and they provide support to the reinforcing rods embedded in the concrete. They will move further up the stairwell as more concrete is poured and cured.

Between the stairwells, structural steel beams and joists are being hoisted by crane into plane, and corrugated steel decking for the floors is being laid down as the steel framing is built out. The new addition will continue to rise as the new building, the first phase of three, moves towards its July 2016 completion. Phase II focuses on renovations to the old building, and Phase III a reconstructed Ho Plaza entrance. The whole project is anticipated to be completed by August 2017. Construction firm Welliver is the general contractor for the project.

The building design is by local architecture firm Chiang O’Brien, with landscaping by Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects. There will be two additions to Gannett, a four-story, 55,000 square-foot building, and an additional 18,600 square foot addition that replaces the northeast side of the current building. The project also includes a new entrance and substantial renovations to the original 1956 structure (22,400 square feet of the existing 35,000), as well as landscaping, site amenities, and utilities improvements. The projected cost is $55 million.

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707 East Seneca Street Construction Update, 8/2015

14 08 2015

By the time I had taken updated photos of the apartment building under construction at 707 East Seneca Street, most of the exterior work had been completed (looking at the photos closely, those might be some trim boards leaning next to the first-floor doorway). The work has shifted mostly to finishing out the interior, and then when the vast majority of work on the building is completed, landscaping and paving will follow. Everything looks to be on schedule for tenant move-in later this month.

For a look at interior progress photos, Modern Living Rentals has been posting occasional updates on their facebook page.

The building will have 6 3-bedroom units, 18 beds total. Todd Fox and Charlie O’Connor of Ithaca’s Modern Living Rentals are the developers, and the design of the building, heavily influenced by its location in the East Hill Historic District, is the work of local firms Schickel Architecture and STREAM Collaborative.

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