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Brockway renovation plans submitted to New York State

by Kari Ashworth - News Editor
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 10:00 am
Brockway Dining Hall renovations and additions have been submitted for review by the state. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis/ Photo Editor
Brockway Dining Hall renovations and additions have been submitted for review by the state. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis/ Photo Editor

Brockway Dining Hall may be getting an upgrade in the coming years. The College at Brockport has submitted a project request form to New York State, which will be reviewed by Albany.

Brockway has not been renovated on a large scale since it was built in the mid-1960s. According to the Director of Dining Services Cathy Legacy, the renovations are long overdue.

“The scope of the Brockway project would be renovating the entire structure,” Legacy said. “Brockway is over 50-years-old and is in need of a total renovation and asbestos abatement. Over the years, critical maintenance has been made to the roof and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems by the state. BASC (Brockport Auxiliary Services Corporation) has invested in improvements in the interior space with updated lighting, paint, furniture and equipment within the confines of the existing structure. Until the asbestos is abated, improvements to the overall building, energy efficiencies and our food service program is very limited.”

The asbestos is nothing abnormal, according to Director of Facilities Planning John Osowski. When the building was constructed, asbestos was still a common material used in the walls. 

“When buildings were built in the 1950s and ’60s, asbestos was a pretty common material used in pipe insulation and fireproofing materials, and the material is still there so now by renovating the buildings, it gives us an opportunity to get that material out of the building,” Osowski said.

Osowski also mentioned that until the structure is disturbed, no one is at risk, as the majority of the asbestos has been removed from the buildings.

“We’ve eliminated a lot of asbestos material over the years, every time you renovate a building. And the material that remains is what’s called — it’s not friable which means it’s not crumbling into little pieces,” Osowski said. “So, any asbestos material that remains on this campus is in good condition, let’s put it that way. It’s not endangering anybody.”

In terms of renovations, Brockway would see a modernization. Osowski said the plan is to make the building more cost and space efficient. BASC plans to move its office space elsewhere in order to make more room for the dining hall. The windows, HVAC systems and the kitchen appliances will also be updated to be more energy efficient. 

“Any new equipment that we put in to heat the building, to cool the building down will be the latest and greatest, state-of-the-art, energy efficient [model] at the time,” Osowski said. “The windows, as I mentioned, right now they’re only a single pane of glass, and they’ll at least be a double pane of glass that has insulating value, could even be triple pane glass if we want to go a little bit beyond that. I believe the walls of that building are probably not insulated, so we’ll insulate that... There’s a lot of wasted energy.”

The floor plan of Brockway will also be redesigned, making it more accessible.

“It’ll be more mobile friendly for mobility impaired patrons, you know be easier for people who are in a wheelchair, injured athletes on crutches or whatever to use,” Osowski said.

Brockway will be closed down during the renovations, leaving Harrison as the sole dining hall on campus. A contingency plan is in the works for the lunch rush, but until the renovations are set in stone, nothing has officially been decided.

Once Albany reviews and verifies the information provided by the college, the next step would be to hire an architect. Osowski said the college hopes to hire one by late Spring 2020. 

The project would be funded by the SUNY Construction Fund, which comes from bonds that New York State sells for capital improvements. According to the SUNY Construction Fund’s website, “the Fund continues to support SUNY through the ongoing replacement of critical infrastructure, renovations to support innovative new educational programs, and continuing its mission to expedite the construction, acquisition, reconstruction and rehabilitation or improvement of the SUNY system; all while identifying energy efficiency opportunities and being responsible stewards of state appropriated funds.” Every SUNY campus depends on this fund to do renovations and improvements on campus. 

The Brockway renovations are a high priority for the college, according to Osowski. The best case scenario for the renovations would be construction during the 2022 academic year.


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