FLUSHING, N.Y. – Now completed is the new Aeronautical and Academic Library and Teaching and Learning Center at the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.
“The new two-story, $2.6 million library and learning center was the final phase of the $40 million multiphased expansion, renovation, and sound mitigation construction program at the college’s main campus,” said Ensign Engineering President Regina Gallagher Marengo, P.E. “The renovation equipped Vaughn College with expanded and upgraded educational facilities, including the new library, and the robust sound insulation necessary for a college located only 200 feet from one of LaGuardia Airport’s runways.”
The 83-year-old private college offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degree programs in engineering, technology, aviation, and management. The college was originally established in 1932 in Newark, N.J., and moved to its current location in 1941. The Queens, NY, site provided easy access to LaGuardia Airport, which is situated across the Grand Central Parkway.
Continued expansion of the airport resulted in one of its new runways terminating just 200 feet from the school, which, along with low-flying airplanes, increased the noise level to the point of interfering with educational activities, college officials noted.
The initial work focused on providing aircraft noise abatement through augmentation of the college’s exterior envelope, including the roofs, walls, and windows. Due to the extent of the roof construction, the project also had to include replacement of the HVAC infrastructure, as well as related interior construction work beneath the roofs. This provided the college with the opportunity to perform extensive upgrades to the majority of its interiors. Creating the new “learning commons” that house the library and learning center was a key part of the interior redevelopment program. The library is located in a section that previously housed classrooms and offices.
“The new 11,000-square-foot library replaced the outdated and insufficient library previously located in a different section of the main building,” explained Richard M. Piacentini, R.A., Senior Project Architect at John Ciardullo Associates. “During the predesign phase, the library leadership expressed the need for more space, additional stacks for the expanding collection, and a large meeting and study area to accommodate students between classes.”
The renovations were financed from two sources. Vaughn received grant funds totaling approximately $32 million from the FAA and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to soundproof the building. In addition to grant financing, Vaughn invested $7 million from its own funds.