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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dash Place takes dim view of new Manhattan College building

By Andy Gross
Posted
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
A Dash Place view of The Raymond W. Kelly ‘63 Students Commons building's large heating, cooling and ventilation system.

Monika Howard and her family used to have a nice view of Gaelic Park and the broad expanse of the northwest Bronx from their home on Dash Place.

But a new complex on the campus of Manhattan College has obstructed their panoramic vista.

Ms. Howard, her husband, son and elderly mother now have a direct view of an elaborate and large heating, cooling and ventilation system located atop the recently constructed Raymond W. Kelly ‘63 Students Commons building.

“We knew there would be a building,” said Ms. Howard, who has lived in her current residence for the past 50 years. “We went to the community board meetings when they broke ground. They said it would be two stories, but it’s clearly three. My big concerns are now about the exhaust and the noise.”

But Manhattan College Vice President for Facilities Andrew Ryan said, “The entire design of the Raymond W. Kelly building was approved by the New York City Department of Buildings in 2012 including the mechanical systems. Both the height of the building and rooftop equipment are in compliance with the approved design.”

Mr. Ryan added that only 29 percent of the rooftop was dedicated to mechanical equipment and that it met all noise standards.

The 70,000-square-foot building is set to open sometime this year. According to Manhattan College’s website, the project’s cost was set at $48 million.

Ms. Howard said she did not contact any of her local political representatives to protest or question the construction because she did not believe her efforts would result in any change to Manhattan College’s building plans.

“For 50 years, it was beautiful,” said Ms. Howard’s mother, Alice Rumpler, 92, referring to the views from their home.  

Ms. Howard suggested the college place a screen around the rooftop equipment. “I’m hoping they might put some covering or a privacy curtain over it,” she said “There are people who paid $500,000 for condos who have lost their view.”

Ms. Howard said the lone bright spot is that the new facility might reduce noise from the subway trains running along the elevated tracks on Broadway.

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