SUNY Cortland residence to get $30 million renovation

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Construction will start this spring on a $30 million renovation of SUNY Cortland’s largest student residence.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) is overseeing the work, expected  to be completed by August 2021.

The renovation of Casey and Smith Tower, a 10-story, 147,000 sq. ft. high-rise housing 560 students, is being financed through the SUNY Dormitory Facilities Program, through which DASNY issues low-cost, tax-exempt bonds supported by student residence hall fees, SUNY Cortland News reports.

“This project marks the completion of an extensive upgrading and construction effort, made possible by DASNY and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, aimed at improving all of SUNY Cortland’s student resident halls,” SUNY Cortland president Erik J. Bitterbaum said.

“When it is done, all of our on-campus student apartments will be completely modern, energy efficient and competitive with residences available at more expensive, private colleges.”

The first two floors of Casey and Smith were renovated in 2009. Once these attached high-rises are completed, every one of the campus’ 16 residence halls — most of which were built in the 1950s or 1960s — will have undergone at least one major renovation.

The buildings will be upgraded to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard as encouraged by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“New York’s higher education institutions are key drivers of economic development,” said  Cuomo, who announced the project with DASNY on Jan. 2. “Keeping our university campuses competitive with modern residence halls and state-of-the-art technology is vital to ensuring we attract the best and brightest to lead our great state into the future.”

The first-floor entry and lobby will be remodeled to include moveable walls, allowing for functions of various sizes. In addition, another small lounge with kitchenette will be added to this floor.

The bedrooms and corridors of the two towers will receive fresh paint and finishes as well as energy efficient, new LED lighting, the university website reported. The bathrooms will undergo a complete renovation and upgrade. Low-flow faucets and toilets to conserve water also will be installed.

The lounges on the upper floors of both towers will include modern kitchenettes, while floors nine and 10 will add new laundry facilities.

New exterior windows will be fitted on floors three through 10 to improve comfort and energy efficiency of the complex. In addition, two new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units will be installed on the roof to ensure optimum ventilation and healthy building conditions are achieved. New high-efficiency boilers also will be installed.

Individual units on floors three through 10 will get new doors as well as power and data upgrades in all bedrooms. Fire protection system enhancements to those upper floors will include a full-coverage sprinkler system throughout and fire alarm upgrades.

The process will repeat with Smith Tower at the end of 2020.

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