Fiterman Hall, Ruined on 9/11, Gone at Last; Rebuilding Project Set to BeginNov 23, 2009
Eight years after 9/11, there’s a bit of good news at Ground Zero: Fiterman Hall has finally been reduced to a hole in the earth.
Plans are set for a Dec. 1 groundbreaking to kick off a $325 million rebuilding project.
“It’s incredible. It’s wonderful,” said a delighted Catherine McVay Hughes of Community Board 1.
The 15-story Manhattan Community College building at Barclay St. and West Broadway was badly damaged by falling debris from the collapse of 7 World Trade Center.
The building, which had just undergone a $65 million renovation, was contaminated beyond repair by toxic dust and mold.
But plans to demolish and rebuild it ran into years of multiagency delays and arguments over environmental rules and funding. Until this month, it had been an eyesore surrounded by construction scaffolding and safety netting.
A funding breakthrough announced last November by Mayor Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver paved the way for a piecemeal removal of Fiterman, which began in May and is now all but complete.
The end of Fiterman Hall will be formally announced tonight at a City University of New York board meeting.
CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said Fiterman’s long-awaited and hard-fought removal will send a powerful signal that lower Manhattan and the city are moving forward from the devastation of 9/11.
The new building will offer much-needed relief for the school’s crowding, according to Manhattan Community College President Antonio Perez.
The new Fiterman Hall, to be completed in spring 2012, will be used by the school’s 20,000 full- and part-time students.
City Councilman Alan Gerson, who represents lower Manhattan and has criticized the slow pace of reconstruction, cheered the step.
“At long last, we have a tangible symbol of progress near Ground Zero,” Gerson said. “Everyone in the community is happy that Fiterman Hall has been taken down safely, quickly and quietly.”