City Tech holds topping off ceremony for $400M complex

June 23, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
City Tech held a topping off ceremony on Monday for its $400 million academic complex that is going up at the corner of Jay and Tillary streets in Downtown Brooklyn. The facility is expected to be finished in time for the fall 2017 semester. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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The New York City College of Technology’s new $400 million academic complex going up in Downtown Brooklyn reached a major milestone on Monday when the school held a “topping-off” ceremony to mark that the final steel beam has been placed upon the structure.

“This whole thing has been inspirational for us because the college has been waiting for this building for a long time,” said City Tech’s President Dr. Russell K. Hotzler. “We’re more than 10 years into the project. It took us many years to get the funding together so we’re very excited to see this happen. This is the most important thing to ever happen in the history of the school.”

The final beam, which was painted white and signed by all officials on hand as well as the site’s construction workers, did not actually go atop the building during the ceremony. It is expected to go up within the next few days as there are still a few more beams to be put in place. Nonetheless, it was a celebratory event for everyone involved.

Standing at one of the busiest intersections in Brooklyn (the corner of Jay and Tillary streets) the project cost a little more than $400 million, according to Hotzler. Joseph Mizzi, president of Sciame Construction, said it has taken an average of 100 workers nine months to remove 50,000-cubic-yards of earth from 35-feet below the ground to place more than 4,500 pieces of steel that weighed at least 4,600 tons to get to this point.

“I think this is going to open City Tech to the next level which is an important institution for Downtown Brooklyn,” Mizzi said. “I think it’s significant and a beautifully designed building.”

City Tech was initially built in 1946 as a place for soldiers returning from World War II to enroll in vocational classes. It has had five different official names but it is not expected to change again. In fact, the college expects this building to have a major impact on its future. The new building will have a theater as well as a bevy of classes including biology, chemistry and clinical health programs in medical imaging, nursing, dentistry, vision care and other human services.

Construction is expected to be finished by spring 2017 so the school can begin to occupy the building in the summer and be ready for its first full semester in the fall. So far everything is on schedule, according to Hotzler.

“There are unique moments that help define an institution and I think today is added to that list,” Hotzler said. “Those moments define where we are going and looking around this morning gives you a clean indication of where this school is going.

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