Originally constructed as an office building in the 1950s, Fiterman Hall had been used as an academic building for the Borough of Manhattan Community College since 1993. It was undergoing major renovations when it was heavily damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the nearby World Trade Center. Falling debris, dust and mold left the building uninhabitable, and it needed to be completely deconstructed and rebuilt.
As part of the reconstruction, massive amounts of concrete were poured in laying the new foundation. As with every concrete job, special care and handling were required to manage the highly toxic washout water created during the cleaning process.
Fiterman Hall project developers contracted specialists at Concrete Washout Systems of New York and New Jersey (CWS) to help capture the pollutants and prevent thousands of gallons of contaminated water from entering New York City’s storm drain system and nearby waterways.
The washout water at the Fiterman Hall site contained chromium-6, a potential carcinogen. The water was also highly caustic, with a pH level of more than 12, which is considered especially corrosive. Workers at CWS provided watertight roll-off bins to control the concrete washout materials and facilitate offsite recycling.
Foundation work for the project concluded in August 2010, and the rebuilt Fiterman Hall is expected to be ready for occupancy in spring 2012.