Owner 
DASNY - New York City College of Technology
Location 
Brooklyn, NY
Project Team 
Gilbane Building Company
General Contractor
STRUCTURAL
Specialty Contractor
RSD Engineering
Architect of Record

Voorhees Hall - NYC College of Technology

Project Description 

Voorhees Hall, also now known as the NYC College of Technology, was donated to New York City from the US Navy and converted into a college in 1970.  The building is located at the base of the Brooklyn side pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge—a high traffic area for pedestrians and vehicles. 

The 9 story structure’s brick exterior was deteriorated and was experiencing façade brick bulging and instability in some areas. In order to avoid the possibility of collapse, the owner needed repairs implemented.

Technical Summary 

STRUCTURAL (A Structural Group Company) was contracted for the façade recladding and window replacement with associated asbestos abatement.   The scope of the work included the installation of a new Siplast roof, structural steel, demolition of the existing exterior—removing all windows and brick, installation of a Terracotta rainscreen wall, installation of dimensional granite and honeycombed granite tile, construction of interior walls and waterproofing the walls while the curtain wall design was manufactured.

STRUCTURAL encapsulated 75 percent of the building with pipe frame scaffold in order to perform repairs. The front of the building had the most damage where bulging of brick and eroding of steel could be easily seen.  A hybrid of pipe, outrigger swing scaffold, and mast climber scaffolding was utilized on the building.

While STRUCTURAL was demolishing and completing the asbestos abatement, the owner wanted a plaza redesign. This required crews to excavate down 30 feet below grade to install the concrete pier foundation footings for the new plaza steel. The excavation included coordination with the MTA (NYC Subway) and Con Edison. 

The interior lobby was completely gutted and rebuilt.  At the entrance, dimensional granite stone was installed and on the first floor Terracotta rainscreen tile.   STRUCTURAL performed glass railing installation, and built a glass and steel rain screen structure at the front entrance to the building.

STRUCTURAL faced a series of challenges with this project.   Because of the close location to the subway and electric vault room, pouring the new foundations and slabs at the front plaza required detailing planning and coordination. DASNY’s own QAP process and inspectors/managers worked alongside STRUCTURAL’s QAP program personnel to achieve success.

The building remained operational while construction took place; approximately 2,000 students and faculty staff had to enter and leave the building each day so proper regulations and safety precautions were taken.  Anywhere from 40 to 90 workers were onsite during repairs, and work was performed in a double shift.  This two and a half year project was completed with no safety incidents.