Volume 19 • Issue 7 | July 7-13, 2006

New delay for Fiterman demolition

BThe demolition of a 9/11-contaminated building faced another setback last week as officials rejected demolition bids from four contractors.

Fiterman Hall, a Borough of Manhattan Community College building on W. Broadway, has stood damaged and contaminated since the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. After reviewing bids to clean and demolish the 15-story structure, the State Dormitory Authority rejected them all, sending the contractors back to the drawing board.

“Not a one of them met all of the environmental specifications that we had,” said Claudia Hutton, a Dorm Authority spokesperson.

Cleanup on the building was scheduled to start in October, but Hutton does not know how long this latest development will delay the process. The next round of bids will be due on Aug. 3. “Nobody wants to have any delay at all, but at the same time it would’ve been wrong to proceed with what we had,” she said.

Fiterman Hall has stood contaminated and shrouded in black since 9/11, its south face visibly gashed and scarred. It took City University of New York until May 2005 to raise the $185 million necessary to dismantle the structure and rebuild a new one in its place. At the time, Governor George Pataki speculated that demolition would begin by the end of 2005.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which is overseeing the demolition, has yet to approve the school’s plans. Hutton said the selected contractor will help submit the revised plans to E.P.A.

In other redevelopment news, work has resumed searching for human remains atop the former Deutsche Bank building, a 40-story tower on the south side of the Trade Center site that is currently being cleaned and demolished.

E.P.A. suspended work on the rooftop in April after asbestos was found in areas previously deemed asbestos free. In mid-June the agency gave the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the green light to resume the rooftop search. More than 600 bone fragments have been recovered since the cleanup of Deutsche Bank began.

—Ronda Kaysen


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