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Crews begin work on $30M project to renovate SUNY Cortland dorms

By Eric Reinhardt


Construction crews have started a $30 million renovation project at the Smith and Casey Tower complex at SUNY Cortland. The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) is managing the construction effort. (PHOTO CREDIT: SUNY CORTLAND WEBSITE)

CORTLAND — The Smith and Casey Tower complex at SUNY Cortland is undergoing a $30 million renovation project. 

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) is managing the construction effort. DASNY-issued low-cost, tax-exempt bonds are financing the renovation project as part of its SUNY Dormitory Facilities program. The Dormitory Authority said it expects construction will finish in August 2021.

DASNY issued low-cost, tax-exempt bonds to finance the renovation project. The bonds are part of the SUNY dormitory facilities program.

About the project

The Smith and Casey Towers will undergo renovations to modernize the 147,000-square-foot complex, DASNY said in a news release. 

Crews will remodel the first-floor entry and lobby to include moveable walls, allowing for functions of various sizes. In addition, they’ll add another small lounge with a kitchenette to that floor.

Bedrooms and corridors in the two towers, which house about 560 students, will receive fresh paint and finishes as well as new lighting. The work will also target bathrooms, which will get new showers, sinks, plumbing fixtures, exhaust fans, paint, and tile. 

Crews will also install low-flow faucets and toilets to conserve water. The lounges on the upper floors of both towers will also be upgraded to include “modern” kitchenettes, while floors nine and 10 will include new laundry facilities.

Contractors will fit new exterior windows on floors three through 10 to “improve comfort and energy efficiency of the complex.” In addition, the installations will include two new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units (known as make-up air units) on the roof to “ensure optimum ventilation and healthy building conditions are achieved.” They’ll also install new high-efficiency boilers as well, DASNY said.

Crews will replace all doors on floors three through 10 and all bedrooms will receive power and data upgrades. They’ll also extend fire-protection systems to the upper floors, providing a full-coverage sprinkler system throughout the building. The work will also include fire-alarm upgrades to “enhance resident safety.”

“When it is done, all of our on-campus student apartments will be completely modern, energy efficient and competitive with residences available at more expensive, private colleges,” SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum contended in the release.

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