Past Construction Projects

Summer 2018 Construction Projects

Although Columbia University remains operational throughout the year, the summer months provide many faculty and students with a well-earned respite. Facilities and Operations uses the summer to complete projects that can only take place when students are away, such as residence hall renovations, and exterior projects that require warmer weather. Other construction projects are slated for summer to take advantage of a smaller impact on the decreased campus population.

The summer of 2018 included a wide range of projects that took place from the Morningside campus up to the Baker Athletics Complex. Of particular interest are several disability access updates, including exterior ramps, a new interior lift, and restroom accessibility updates.

Outdoor Summer Projects

1. Accessibility Ramp, Lower Campus

Installation of a new exterior ramp on the west side of Hamilton Hall (similar in location to the ramp adjacent to Pulitzer Hall), replacing the temporary metal ramp from Millennial Walk to College Walk. The project also replaced granite stairs and brick pathway, and improved drainage.

2. Mathematics Pathway Replacement

Piggybacking on the completion of a new lift in Mathematics, several other accessibility projects took place this summer. The pathway in front of the Mathematics building was replaced with brick pavers and granite curbing, including the replacement of the outdoor steps leading to Havemeyer Hall with an accessibility ramp. In addition, the entryway to Mathematics was widened with new entry doors.

3. Pulitzer Hall Exterior Window Replacement

This work replaced 35 single double-hung and 23 twin double-hung windows on floors 3, 4 and 5 in Pulitzer Hall with double-hung mahogany wood windows that have weight-and-pulley balances, insulating low E glass and custom exterior wood trim to match the originals.

4. South Lawn Drainage System

A new drainage system was installed in the South Field West Lawn to address oversaturation, leading to faster recovery time and more access.

Indoor Summer Projects

1. Chandler Hall and Dodge Fitness Center: WiFi Closets

Identified paths and installed raceways as a preliminary step to allow CUIT to fully cable all buildings on campus.

2. Dodge Fitness Center

LED lights and better controls installed at the center court of Levien Gym provide brighter lighting and reduce energy. The Levien Gym also had the gym floor refinished, and new ceiling tiles installed.

3. Dodge Hall

New ceiling tiles and LED lighting fixtures were installed on the Dodge Hall fifth and sixth floor hallways to address sagged and stained ceiling tiles and burnt out light fixtures. The walls were painted to uplift the appearance of the corridors as well. Facilities and Operations also made cosmetic improvements to the Miller Theater dressing rooms, upgrade the restroom, and install new doors.

4. East Campus, B-200

Cosmetic refresh of a meeting room at the Heyman Center.

5. Fairchild Hall 900 Level, Lab Renovation

New wet laboratory, office, student workstations, and a conference room.

6. Fayerweather Hall, 100, 200 and 300 Levels

Renovation of the 200 level to convert existing space to studio and classroom spaces; convert restrooms to gender-neutral.

7. Hamilton Hall, 600 Level

This project renovated the existing administrative and academic spaces on the east end of the sixth floor of Hamilton Hall. The goals of the renovation were to facilitate circulation to seminar rooms, improve the reception waiting area and administrative space, increase the number of faculty offices, reconfigure and expand the graduate student study room, and relocate the department library to a more central location. The effort provided faculty offices along the perimeter, a renovated library/study room, and a cosmetic refresh of existing faculty offices.  

8. Havemeyer Hall

An existing lab on the sixth floor was expanded and floor work was performed on the 100 level. 

9. International Affairs Building

Accessibility upgrade: Facilities and Operations constructed and installed a wheelchair lift between the lower and upper levels of the fourth floor. Completion of the lift  improved overall building accessibility by facilitating access between the building’s main entrance and elevators, and the portion of the building that connects to Jerome L. Greene Hall.

100 Level, Economics Department: This project was comprised of a cosmetic refresh of an Economics Department open work area.

300 Level, GSAS Writing Studio, Lehman Library: Reconfiguration of the mezzanine of Reading Room 319 into a dedicated writing studio for Ph.D. candidates. In addition, the restrooms on the third floor of Lehman Library were converted to accessible, gender-neutral restrooms.

400 Level: The fourth-floor lecture hall in the International Affairs Building had a cosmetic refresh and included new seating and new sliding blackboards.

11. John Jay Dining Hall Ceiling

This project replaced the ceiling above John Jay Dining Hall that was damaged by a leak, and upgraded Columbia Health restrooms on the floor above for accessibility.

12. Lewisohn Hall

Restrooms on the third, fourth, and sixth floors of Lewisohn Hall were renovated as part of an overall refresh program at the building that also included a restoration of the center bannister and a refresh of other public space.

13. Low Library, Administration Office

In Low Library, an administrative office had a cosmetic refresh. 

14. Mudd Hall 100 and Engineering Terrace 300, Restrooms 

Existing restrooms were upgraded for disability access.

15. Northwest Corner Building 1100 Level—Laboratory Construction

Phase 2 of construction for two new laboratory spaces.

16. Pulitzer Hall 709—Pulitzer Prize Office 

This effort constituted a cosmetic refresh of office space to increase density and add more usable workspace. 

17. Schermerhorn Extension, 600 Level

Refresh of rooms 655-658 to create more functional lab and office space for students and faculty.

18. Mudd Hall

The second and eighth floor lecture halls in the Mudd Building had a cosmetic refresh with new seating and new sliding blackboards. The 1200 level received new flooring and painting. 

19. Uris Hall First-Floor Classrooms

Renovation of classrooms 140, 141 and 142 on the first floor of Uris Hall. These heavily used instructional rooms comprise approximately 4,500 square feet of space. The space refresh included cosmetic updates as well as key infrastructure upgrades to improve the faculty and student experience.

Ongoing Construction and Renovation Projects  

1. 538 W. 114th Street

The brownstone at 538 W. 114th Street will undergo a restoration and renovation. On the exterior, the façade is being restored and windows replaced. The interior is undergoing a full renovation with some reconfigurations to allow for added occupancy. A kitchen, dining area, recreational room, and laundry room will be located on the basement level, with bedrooms and bathrooms on the first through fourth floors. The first-floor bathroom will be accessible, with a lift installed for access between the first floor and basement. Other changes include new electrical, heating and life safety/fire protection systems; replacement of the central staircase; and a new concrete backyard.

2. Carman Hall

Phase 2 of the Carman Hall modernization continues this summer, following the upgrades to floors 11, 12, and 13 last summer. This summer, renovation work will take place to rooms on the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth floors including new furniture, flooring, lighting, painting, fan coils, electrical outlets with USB plugs and bathrooms. There will also be a new lounge across from the elevator on each floor and an accessible room added to each floor.

The second through sixth floors of Carman Hall will be renovated next summer.

3. Chandler Hall, 300 and 400 Levels

Work has commenced to renovate several spaces on the third and fourth floors of Chandler Hall. On the third floor, new office spaces for the Chemistry Department are being constructed. The renovations to the fourth floor, mainly in the former Chemistry Library space, will create one large lecture room, one small lecture room, a new accessible women’s and men’s restroom, and a gender-neutral restroom. This renovation is anticipated to be completed during the Fall 2018 semester.

4. Computer Science 400 Level

This project increased the capacity of computer lab and classroom spaces to improve teaching and learning experience. It also includesd infrastructure upgrades and new windows in the building's west façade.

5. Earth and Environmental Engineering/Chemistry Lab, Mudd Hall 900 and 1000 Levels

This effort is a gut renovation of existing wet labs for new and existing principal investigators.

6. East Campus, Residence Hall

East Campus, Residence Hall At the East Campus Residence Hall, this summer we will initiate a project to convert the entire building from gas to electric service for cooking. During the 2018-19 academic year, East Campus suites will not have traditional ovens/ranges. All suites will be provided a convection microwave oven, which includes functionality that replicates features of a traditional oven. Additionally, Housing will provide a 1000-watt electric hot plate in place of a stove-top range.

7. Lerner Hall

Redevelopment of various spaces in Lerner, including a lounge and computer center, to support a better student experience. In addition, the building elevators will be undergoing upgrades.

8. Mathematics Hall

Facilities and Operations will also be repainting walls, improving lighting, embedding conduit into walls, renovating restrooms, and replacing doors on each floor as part of a building-wide refresh that has been ongoing over the last year.

9. Pupin Hall

Pupin Hall Dropped ceilings are being created with new tiles and LED light fixtures to improve public space and hide visible cables and piping across the ceilings from the recently completed MEP core upgrade at Pupin Hall. In addition, hallway walls are being repainted to brighten the floor. This work is in progress on the fifth floor and will continue throughout the building. Restroom renovations in the building will continue as part of our ongoing Morningside campus restroom initiative.

10. St. Paul's Chapel Roof Replacement and Exterior Restoration

Facilities and Operations has embarked on a project to replace the roof and restore the exterior of St. Paul's Chapel. The historic terra cotta roof tiles will be replaced consistent with the original architecture, and the building exterior will be cleaned and restored. The roof replacement is critical to preventing future damage to the building interior. In addition, the stained-glass windows in the dome are being cleaned, restored and protected. Contractors finished fully scaffolding the Chapel exterior in January, and in March, workers completed the removal of old tiles from the sloped roof surrounding the dome. Interior scaffolding has also been erected to facilitate removal and restoration of the stained-glass windows in the dome. Removal of these windows for preservation commenced in early May.

The pathways around the chapel are anticipated to remain open during construction work. We anticipate the roof replacement and exterior façade restoration will be completed by the end of 2019.

For more information and updates, visit:

11. Schermerhorn Hall 800 Level

This effort is converting the former Wallach Gallery space for the Burke Center for Japanese Art. It includes new offices, a new seminar room and a new classroom.

12. Wien Hall

Renovations will continue in Wien Hall over the summer on floors six through nine, including new flooring in single rooms, new vanities replacing the previously separate sinks and mirrors, and the replacement of radiators. This is second phase of a three-phase project. The final phase is anticipated to be completed next summer.