PLATTSBURGH — Renovation of the George Moore Academic and Administrative Building at Clinton Community College could wrap up by early August.
“The project is really moving very nicely,” CCC President Ray DiPasquale told The Press-Republican during a recent interview.
“It’s looking great. It’s going to be a tremendous point of pride for the college, … along with the community, county and state of New York to bring back this wonderful historic building to the glory days.”
DONE IN PHASES
Phase 1 of the approximately $15 million project — which included the state-of-the-art Learning Commons — focused on renovating the south side of the building and has been completed.
Work on Phase 2, the building’s northern half, was ongoing until about three weeks ago, and will recommence when the weather breaks.
DiPasquale said 454 windows were replaced with triple-paned windows, which will bring huge energy savings to the college and help maintain a quieter atmosphere in the face of winds coming off the lake.
Other completed components include new doors at all the entrances, the new loading dock, the air conditioning system, new stairs on both the front and back verandas, and the reinstallation of the original Hotel Champlain window railings on the south side.
“What remains as we go forward is finishing the front veranda with railings, the north side (with) all the new stucco and facing, the new parking lot in the front,” DiPasquale said.
ALLOWED FOR PROGRESS
Director of Buildings and Grounds Robert Trombley estimates that about 98 percent of the internal work is complete, with one of the exceptions being window treatments on back order.
He anticipates that, by late spring or early summer, the project contractors will be ready to start installing the Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS), which provides layers of insulation and, over that, stucco to maintain the historic Hotel Champlain facade.
“There are not a lot of silver linings in the pandemic, but one of the things about being remote is that it allowed things to progress so far,” he continued. “We were allowed to let people into areas that weren’t supposed to be open until Phase 2."
Prior to the pandemic, offices like admissions and student services temporarily moved to the Stafford Center for Arts, Science and Technology building during Phase 1 construction.
Additionally, courses offered in the Moore building were held in classrooms on the side not undergoing EIFS installation. DiPasquale has said that, this academic year, as much as 95 percent of the college's courses were offered remotely.
DiPasquale said the offices have since moved back to the Moore building. Trombley added that the project’s contractors have been very accommodating.
“They have really taken pride in the work, not that they didn’t on other jobs, but you could just tell they were really interested in preserving the building.”
MADE UP TIME
Construction was paused for about a month last spring during the initial shutdown in New York State, Trombley said.
DiPasquale added that Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted quickly to higher education projects across the 64 SUNY campuses.
“We were all treated the same; we had to submit a plan, the company had to submit safety protocols. I would say it was no more than a month and they were right back on the project. I would say they actually made up that time.”
No specific changes to the Moore project were made due to COVID-19-related concerns, Trombley said, though filters across campus were upgraded to MERV 13 and additional hand-sanitizing stations were installed.
Such expenses were covered by federal coronavirus relief money, DiPasquale said.
DiPasquale said the project is on time and on budget, but Trombley added that CCC is still waiting on final numbers before deciding which alternates to move forward with, though the goal is to redo the faculty and staff parking lot.
“Once they (contractors) return in the spring and get going on the project, we’ll see exactly what’s going on. I think by early spring we’ll be able to decide what we’re going to do moving forward," Trombley added.
Any remaining projects on campus are smaller in nature.
“We’ve done a lot the last three or four years,” Trombley said, referring also to the $12.7 million Institute for Advanced Manufacturing that opened in fall 2017.
The college is planning a grand reopening of the Moore building with dignitaries present. DiPasquale remains optimistic that it will coincide with welcoming back students — the vast majority of whom are currently learning remotely — to in-person learning.
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