Campus Renewal Questions
How will the Campus Renewal Project improve campus life?
The campus renovations and improvements will provide much greater ADA accessibility, redesigned and upgraded student housing, gathering/study spaces, and cafe to help strengthen community, and upgraded infrastructure (A/C, Wi-Fi, plumbing, etc.) to solidify mechanical underpinnings.
What is the timeline for the campus renovation project(s)?
The first phase of our campus renewal will begin with the renovation of Hastings Hall, in the summer of 2019. This project is expected to take 10 months. Also, in 2019, a separate project, construction of the new mixed-use building that will be built on the northwest end of the Quad, will commence, likely mid-year. Preparations for demolition of the area around Lampman and the lobby and stairs will begin in December, 2018 and demolition is expected to happen in the spring of 2019. Construction is expected to take 36 months.
What spaces are closing on campus and when?
Lampman Chapel will close in early-mid November
Social and Refectory will close December 1
Hastings Hall will close June 1, 2019
The Quad will close June 1, 2019
Will James Chapel elevator be accessible after Social Hall and Refectory go offline?
James Chapel and James Chapel Tower are not part of the construction project. Those spaces, and the elevator will remain available and accessible.
What renovations/improvements will be made as part of the campus renewal project?
Improvements to our campus will happen in phases. The renovation to Hastings Hall, the first project, will include new kitchens and bathrooms, new common rooms with shared kitchens on every floor, new windows, renovated corridors, and upgraded mechanical and technological systems. The infrastructure upgrades in Hastings are particularly important, and account for the greatest expenditure in this phase, because the HVAC and mechanicals located below Hastings run the entire Union campus. The aim of this upgrade is to provide greater energy efficiency, as we update and modernize our infrastructure. The architects for the campus renovation is Beyer Blinder Belle.
Later phases of the project, will include updated and accessible entrances to the campus at main entry and rotunda, a new main entry/Hastings lobby entrance with increased security measures, a new elevator/stair core in Auburn Hall, new student space on the ground floor of Auburn Hall (a new café, study space/lounge), new small worship chapel, new large meeting space, better Wi-Fi connectivity, and the addition of air conditioning in most spaces. These projects have not been finalized and a timeline for them has not yet been established.
Will the campus become more accessible?
Yes, a ramp will be built outside the 120thSt Rotunda entrance, as well as a new ramp in the rotunda leading to the administration hallway. There will be a new elevator and stair core in Auburn Hall (where the current multi-level landings and stairs currently exist) with a 2-sided elevator cab that will allow for access to each floor in Auburn Hall and the Admin building.
How long will the Hastings Hall renovation last?
Hastings Hall will close on June 1, 2019. The renovation will take approximately 14 months. Hastings will reopen for student occupancy for the fall semester 2020.
What accommodations will be made for student housing during Hastings renovation?
The administration is working with neighboring institutions to see if we may be able to utilize any excess capacity they anticipate having next year. However, we may be unable to provide housing for all students who are seeking it. Information about housing options will be shared with students before the end of this fall semester.
Additionally, there are off-campus housing resources offered through Columbia (accessible using your UNI or as a guest) at this website: https://ocha.facilities.columbia.edu, for students who may wish to consider other housing for the 2019-20 academic year. As well as other independent student housing options in the city, including Student Housing Works.
Will rent in Hastings Hall increase when it’s reopened?
There have been modest rent increases each year for housing. It is anticipated that there may be an increase in line with previous years, but there will not be a significant jump in rent.
Will the Hastings lobby be closed during Hastings renovation?
The Hastings lobby will largely remain open during the renovation as it is the main entrance to campus. At some point the lobby itself will undergo renovations, and at that time alternative access to the campus will be identified.
What will happen to Bonhoeffer Room?
The Bonhoeffer Room will become a new student lounge space for use by Hastings residents.
What will happen to the Landmark hotel rooms?
The Landmark hotel rooms will be converted to student housing.
What will happen to the Landmark staff?
Some staff that work at Landmark are UTS employees (office staff) and others are employees of an outside company, Harvard Maintenance (housekeeping and maintenance staff). Harvard Maintenance employs other staff at UTS and is determining what staffing levels will be needed during renovation. If fewer staff are needed they will work with the employee union, 32BJ, to find alternate job sites. For the office staff, Union administration is working with staff to help them find other employment either at Union or with another employer.
Will Lampman chapel close for good?
The present Lampman chapel will be closing permanently, in mid-November. A decommissioning service is being planned for November 29. The stained-glass windows will be removed and preserved for future use, along with other important artifacts from the chapel. We will be using AD 34 as a small chapel space beginning in the spring semester for the near future. A new small chapel is being designed that will be in a new location on campus.
What will happen to McGiffert Hall?
The Riverside Church has an agreement with Union to purchase McGiffert Hall. Union will lease back the space and will continue to occupy it until 2022 after the completion of the new multi-use building which will contain the new faculty housing.
When will the renovations to existing Union facilities be completed?
No timeline has been established as the project is still in the early planning phases. However, we hope the renovation to the existing facilities will begin by the end of 2018.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions about the campus renovation?
Questions or concerns about the campus renovation project can be directed to Ben Perry, UTS ’15, assistant director of communications and marketing at Union, He can be reached at 212-280-1591, or by email at email@example.com. Or, just stop by his office in AD 125.
New Construction Project Questions
How will Union’s section of the new mixed-use building improve campus life?
The Union floors of the building (within the lower 9 floors) will contain two new modern classrooms, an office for spiritual formation, EDS at Union office space, and 27 faculty apartments.
What else will be in the mixed-use building and how will it be accessed?
The non-Union floors of the building will be private residential condos. Non-Union residents will not have access to Union’s campus. Union access to the building will be from within campus on the ground level, via a proposed new cloister walk that will complete a full surround of the new Quad.
What is the timeline for construction of the new mixed-use building?
Initial construction activity (abatement) will begin in January 2019. Demolition of the site will begin in the summer of 2019. The project will take approximately 36 months to complete.
Who is the developer and architect for the project?
The developer of the mixed-use building is Lendlease LLC and the architect for the project is Robert A. M. Stern Architects.
Will the Quad be closed during construction?
For safety reasons, the Quad will close in the summer of 2019.
Will we still have commencement in the Quad?
May 2019 Commencement is expected to be held in the Quad, weather permitting. For the following 3 years, until construction is complete, Union has an agreement with Manhattan School of Music to hold Commencement in their Neidorff-Karpati Hall which has a capacity of 846 seats.
How much noise should we expect during construction, and when?
As with any construction project there will be noise. Some steps in the process create more noise than others. No work will be done in the overnight hours. General hours of construction will be 7:30am – 3:30pm, as set by the NYC Department of Buildings. Once the exterior of the building is complete, the noise should decrease dramatically as they begin working inside the structure. For those seeking quiet places to study, it’s worth a reminder that our neighboring institutions have libraries and study spaces that can be used if students choose to, during our construction period.