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CUNY spends $1M on ‘hole in ground’ in stalled construction project

The Metropolis College of New York will spend $1 million this 12 months to forestall a “gap within the floor” from flooding on the web site of a long-stalled building undertaking, The Submit has realized.

The boondoggle is a results of authorities dysfunction after CUNY dug a basis for a brand new $300 million nursing faculty facility — that it by no means obtained the funding to truly construct.

A CUNY spokesman now says the price of the postponed undertaking has ballooned to a staggering $900 million.

The college hoped to erect the constructing for its Hunter Faculty nursing and science program, subsequent to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s outpatient facility on the Higher East Facet.

However the funding acquired tied up due to a dispute with state officers below former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The development web site, positioned on a swath of land at East 73rd and 74th Streets between York Avenue and the FDR Drive, is boarded up with inexperienced fencing, and there’s cement protecting up the “bowl tub” basis.

“It’s a gap within the floor that requires spending taxpayer {dollars} to forestall water harm. It’s a humiliation for Hunter, CUNY and state officers,” a CUNY insider stated.

Sources stated the undertaking acquired off to a foul begin when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and CUNY officers introduced the joint Sloan-Kettering/CUNY facility in 2012 — with out inviting or together with Cuomo. The then-governor’s title was not listed on the press launch.

Most of CUNY’s funding comes from the state and notably so for capital building tasks.

CUNY construction site on 74th Street
This was presupposed to be the placement of the brand new Hunter Faculty nursing and science program.
J.C.Rice

The Submit first reported on the stalled undertaking three years in the past. On the time, CUNY advocates and Cuomo officers blamed one another for the snafu.

CUNY is now on the hook to guard the “basis and bathtub, which should be dewatered and maintained till building of a brand new constructing begins” to adjust to metropolis constructing codes, in response to a request for proposals the college has despatched to bidders.

The annual upkeep price is $1 million, a CUNY spokesman confirmed.

A CUNY rep stated the plan stays in limbo, and that it should spend cash to keep up the location.

“CUNY is reviewing and updating the present plan to find out applicable subsequent steps,” the spokesman stated.

CUNY construction site on 74th Street
The realm must be repaired to forestall water harm.
J.C.Rice

Requested if funding has been secured on this 12 months’s state price range to erect the nursing faculty, the rep replied, “No.”

The recently-approved state price range contains $500 million for all new CUNY capital building, however the cash has not but been earmarked, sources stated.

Including insult to damage,  Memorial Sloan Kettering’ new 26-story outpatient clinic, the David H. Koch Center for Cancer, opened in 2019 on the shared land parcel with CUNY.

Town gave CUNY/Hunter Faculty and Memorial Sloan Kettering the property in trade for the title to property at Hunter Faculty’s Brookdale campus on East twenty fifth Avenue and First Avenue.

CUNY/Hunter thought of the prevailing nursing faculty constructing in Turtle Bay antiquated and had pushed for the prospect to construct a brand new web site on the Higher East Facet.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who was then the Manhattan borough president, pushed for the undertaking together with Hunter Faculty president Jennifer Raab — and blamed Cuomo’s crew for the debacle.

“What now we have is a gap within the floor that sits there for years,”  Brewer fumed on Sunday.

“Here’s what I care about — we’d like nurses on this metropolis. CUNY wants that house.”

A spokesman for state price range director Robert Mujica, who is also a trustee on CUNY’s governing board, stated in a press release: “CUNY is creating a plan for this undertaking and we look ahead to reviewing it on the applicable time.”

Brewer stated the price of the undertaking has doubtless escalated by a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} due to delays.

In the meantime, Higher East Facet neighbors stated they’re not happy at having an deserted building web site close by.

“I’ve truthfully by no means observed it however I don’t like the truth that it’s sitting there and never getting used for something productive,” stated DeiVonte Freeman-Jackson, 24.

Lara Roth-Biester, 51, who lives close by, expressed concern about losing taxpayer {dollars}.

“Appears like New York Metropolis. It’s corrupt from prime to backside,” she stated.

“It doesn’t shock me. I’m certain that’s not the one web site within the metropolis that has this drawback.” 

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