Binghamton University’s Downtown Center is still closed as renovations continue, nearly eight months after last fall’s flood damaged the central electrical system in the basement of the building.
Karen Fennie, spokeswoman for Physical Facilities, said the clean-up process is complete. The contractor for the renovation was selected and is now on site, according to Fennie.
“Initial work involves excavation for the new generator pad and jack hammering out the pit where the old generator was located,” Fennie said.
The equipment damaged in the flood includes the building’s transformer, HVAC system, and its plumbing and piping.
“We’re not at a point where equipment is being installed, but it has all been ordered and the delivery dates are confirmed,” Fennie said.
Precautions have been taken to ensure that if there were another flood of this scale, the building would be better equipped to handle it, according to Fennie. Key equipment including the electrical transformer and the emergency generator will no longer be located in the basement but will be housed in enclosed structures outside of the building.
Other important equipment will be installed in racks above the floor in the basement. The estimated cost for cleanup and reconstruction is $4 million, according to Fennie.
Classes originally scheduled to be held in UDC this semester were moved to different locations on campus.
Stacy Berkowitz, a sophomore double-majoring in human development and Spanish, said many of her classes this semester had to be relocated because of the flood.
“I found that classes that need to be relocated were very well-accommodated,” Berkowitz said. “However, I do like the atmosphere provided in UDC and would not have minded the extra commute.”
The human development department was most affected by the closure, as most of their courses are held at UDC, according to Berkowitz. Faculty and students are no longer concentrated in one location.
“All the professors had to relocate their offices to the Engineering Building. I believe that the beauty of the UDC is its ability to bring together a whole department,” Berkowitz said. “All HDEV majors and professors are in one location at the UDC and now on campus it’s scattered. It does not feel like a community on campus.”
Classes are scheduled to resume in the fall, according to Fennie.