We are actively working with Whiting Turner to determine the long-term impact of these delays on completion of the project, including the development of contingency plans, with the continued goal of having the UC operational by Fall 2020.

Dear Adelphi Community,

Soon after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in New York in early March, Whiting Turner (WT), our contractor for the renovation of our Ruth S. Harley University Center, began scheduling tasks and projects throughout the work site in a way that allowed social distancing of six feet between people to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and to protect the health of the workers. WT also established hand washing stations throughout the site, supplemented by disinfecting stations.

On March 18, as confirmed cases in New York and across the nation continued to climb, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York State Policy to Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone (PAUSE) Executive Order. This act required dramatic reduction of on-site workforces across the state, ultimately resulting in a 100% reduction of non-essential personnel on site in any workplace in New York. At the time, the UC renovation project was still operating as an essential project, but on March 27, we were required by NYS to put the UC project on hold as it was determined that it didn’t – at the time – meet the requirements of essential work.

The University pursued all possible options for getting the site approved to allow for continued construction, and we received approval to continue some limited work to secure the site for closure.

On April 9, the governor’s office announced an amendment to the restrictions that would allow construction projects at public and private schools to resume. After careful review of the amendment with WT’s leadership team and attorneys, it was determined that we can move forward, and the project is now getting back on track. Whiting Turner is now in the process of ramping up work on the site while ensuring that all safety and social distancing requirements are met, including operating in multiple shifts and project planning that ensures adequate space between workers.

While these evolving policy decisions have been disruptive, the progress on the renovation of the UC never completely stopped. Our team worked to secure the site for closure and continued administrative and planning tasks. This included procurement and supply chain management such as preordering materials to prevent delays later, identifying new sources when suppliers were impacted by COVID-19, accepting deliveries of materials, and arranging off-site manufacturing of necessary components whenever possible.

We are actively working with WT to determine the long-term impact of these delays on completion of the project, including the development of contingency plans, with the continued goal of having the UC operational by Fall 2020.

As we’ve described before, work in the original building progressed from top to bottom, starting on the third floor, and progressing to the second, first and lower levels. Today, with the exception of various sections of the Ballroom, the second and third floors are largely complete. Finishing work on the first floor and lower level continues, and the completion of the east addition (facing Parking Lot 2) and west addition (facing Levermore Hall) are moving steadily forward.

Original Structure – Interior

  • On the third floor of the original structure, with infrastructure including plumbing, electric and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) in place and walls, ceilings and floors complete, workers are installing light fixtures, restroom fixtures and sprinkler heads.
  • On the second floor, workers are finishing the priming and painting of sheetrock walls, installing light fixtures and restroom fixtures in finished rooms, and installing Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) high performance wall panels in select areas. In addition, they continue to work in the Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom, installing light fixtures, cabling and infrastructure for AV systems, and installing a VESDA fire alarm and smoke detection system.
  • On the first floor, taping, priming and painting walls continues, as does installation of ceiling grids, light fixtures and sprinkler heads. In the first floor restrooms, fixtures are being installed and millwork is in progress.
  • The Starbucks is taking shape! Work is finishing on the walls, including the installation of FRP wall panels, and installation of lighting is underway.
  • On the lower level, workers, at a safe social distance from one another, continue to work on installation of ceramic tiles floors and antimicrobial flooring, installation of FRP high performance wall panels and sprinkler and gas piping, and installation and insulation of the grease duct at Asian Station in the UC Café.

West Addition

In the west addition, where the new UC Café and abundant meeting space will be located, work on the roof continues, in addition to:

  • the installation of the glass curtain wall, and the metal framing and sheathing that surround it,
  • framing out the walls on the first floor and lower level,
  • running in-wall electric lines,
  • building out the first floor restrooms,
  • installing drains and ductwork.
  • at a remote facility, workers are building all millwork that makes up the seven food stations and food prep areas.

East Addition

The east addition, which will include a sunlit student lounge, is coming along beautifully.

  • Work on the installation of the glass curtain is complete.
  • Framing the rooms on the first floor is underway.
  • Mechanicals, electric and plumbing (MEP) are being developed.


Advances in infrastructure development of the UC include:

  • Framing of the north elevator machine room
  • Completion of the belowground control pit for the north elevator, including the pit ladder, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFI) and light.
  • Installation of the C-tank, part of the below-ground drainage system

We are very excited to see the tremendous progress on this major building renovation. You can see photos of this work on the UC Progress website by clicking on the Photos and Live Feed link, where you can view the full photo gallery or watch the real-time webcam.

We cannot know what the future holds in the way of government regulation of activity, but at this point in time, the work is progressing as expected. We are always interested to hear your feedback, so if you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to email


The UC Progress Team

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e –

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