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UC Renovations Progress Amid Campus Shutdown

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

By: Jaclyn Tracy

While the majority of campus has been closed and classes have gone online, one spot remains a busy hub of activity: the construction site of the University Center, a project that was started in May 2019.

In a news piece published to the UC progress website on March 24, Adelphi explained what is going to change and remain the same in terms of progress being made. “While we all have been consumed by precautions and adjustments surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis, work has continued to move steadily forward on our Ruth S. Harley University Center. As of this writing on March 24, 2020, working together with our contractor, Whiting Turner, we have secured approval from New York State to continue work on the renovation as an `essential service.’”

While the renovation was deemed essential, James Perrino, executive vice president of finance and administration said, “Back in early March, Whiting Turner began scheduling tasks and projects throughout the building 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.”

Whiting Turner was also working with the unions involved to reduce the amount of people on site at a time by offering workers split shifts over extended hours.

Workers can stay clean and prevent spreading germs at several hand washing/sanitizing stations, and any necessary meetings between project managers are taking place online. With these preventative measures, Adelphi is able to keep workers on site six days a week and ensure that the project is continuing to move along, the news piece

Progress made on the University Center will reported.

not stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many new safety measures are in

place. Photo by Liza Burby.

However, while that update was posted on March 24, Perrino revealed, “On March 18, 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 10 percent reduction of non-essential personnel. On March 27, we were required by NYS to put the project on hold as it didn’t - at the time - meet the requirements of essential work.

According to Perrino, the university pursued all possible options for getting the site approved to allow for continued construction, and received some approval to continue some limited work to secure the site for closure. Then, 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, and after careful review with Whiting Turner’s leadership team and attorneys, it was determined that the project could move forward.

“While these evolving policy decisions have been disruptive, the progress on the UC renovation never completely stopped,” Perrino said. “Our team worked to secure the site for possible closure and continued administrative and planning tasks, including procurement and supply chain management, identifying new sources when suppliers were impacted by COVID-19 and arranging off-site manufacturing of necessary components whenever possible.”

On an optimistic note, Perrino said that having the UC operational by fall 2020 is still their continued goal. If you want to read more details about everything that has gotten done recently, as well as view photos and the live feed, visit for more information.

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