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Barnard College Construction Update - Jan. 21,  2016

Dear Neighbor,                                                                                                    

The Barnard campus is bustling this week with the return of our students on Tuesday. We’ve wrapped up a lot of the preliminary work on the campus side of the construction site – now we’ll turn our attention to Claremont Avenue. 

The first bit of good news we’d like to share with you is that the Department of Transportation is allowing us to close the entire length of sidewalk on the Barnard side of Claremont from W. 116th St. to W. 120th.   Last fall, we heard from many of you who reside on Claremont, concerned about the safety of crossing the street and allowing access to the sidewalk on the Barnard side of the street. 

We’ve worked with the DOT these past few weeks and they agree it will be safer for now to close the entire length of sidewalk. We are continuing talks with the DOT about possibly adding a crosswalk across Claremont, but these talks are outside the scope of the construction project. You will still be able to use the Barnard entrances at the main gate and on Broadway and Claremont at W. 119th Street to walk through campus.

The second good news we’d like to share is that we’ve arranged for the crews who are doing our abatement work to enter the job site from Broadway. The abatement process is running from 7 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for the next several weeks. We heard your concerns about noise on Claremont outside our usual construction hours and we feel it’s better for those workers to enter and leave the site through Broadway.

Here is what to expect during the next two weeks. 


Two-Week Look Ahead – Jan 21 - Feb. 3

  • The middle third of campus has reopened and you can now use the North-South Walkway to move through campus.
  • We have begun the first phase of the abatement from Lehman Hall, a process that will take 4-6 weeks. For the first few weeks, all of the abatement work will be done inside Lehman Hall and all windows will be sealed to contain dust.
  • Tomorrow, we will begin closing the parking lane along the Barnard side of Claremont. The lane will be closed for approximately 300 feet, beginning 50 feet north of Lehman Hall and running along Claremont to 50 feet south of Lehman. This will result in the loss of approximately 25 parking spaces. As cars leave these spaces, barriers will be put in place. We hope to have all the cars moved and the parking lane secured late tomorrow. We also will begin working tomorrow to close the sidewalk along Barnard.
  • Beginning next Monday, we’ll start bringing in materials to build the construction fence along Claremont Avenue. The 12-foot-tall fence, 4 feet taller than NYC standards require, will surround the entire construction perimeter for the duration of the project. The fence will be draped with sound-deadening blankets that will also help us contain dust.
  • In a few weeks, we will begin constructing the scaffolding on the outside of the fence. The scaffolding surrounding the perimeter will also include fine-mesh netting to further capture dust.
  • You can expect this initial work along Claremont to last for several weeks. We anticipate beginning the demolition of Lehman around mid-February.
  • While we construct the perimeter fence along Claremont and prepare the construction site, we will temporarily be holding Barnard’s day-to-day trash in containers located along the campus side of Claremont. These containers have plastic lids to reduce the noise that occurs when opening and closing the lids. All trash will be bagged before being thrown into the bins and no construction debris will be placed in these containers. They are strictly being used for Barnard’s day-to-day trash. You will see Action Waste Management workers removing the garbage on a regular basis.


As always, we appreciate your consideration and patience. For general questions and comments, please email me at If you have an urgent issue that needs to be addressed immediately, please email during regular work hours, or call Barnard Public Safety at 212/854-3362 outside of regular work hours.

You can also find specific construction-related FAQs on our website:

Thank you.


Quenta Vettel, Communications Director, Special Projects
Barnard College