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Stern glass stairway closed due to rain

Post Time:Nov 10,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:373

One of the more grand features in Stern School of Business' Concourse Project is the new three-level glass central stairwell installed in the lobby of Tisch Hall.

But due to safety concerns, the university closes the stairwell off to students and faculty when it rains to prevent them from slipping and falling when water is tracked into the building from outdoors.

Shana Carroll, director of communications at Stern, said the stairwell requires some last-minute touches before it is completely finished.

"We're currently working with our architect and facilities management teams, both within Stern and at NYU, to consider modifications to the stairs themselves as well as how to reduce the amount of water that is tracked into the building during inclement weather," Carroll said.

She added that safety is a priority during the renovations.

"When selecting materials for the project, we required our architect to conduct extensive testing on tiles and other surfaces," Carroll said. "As with any project of this scale, we are constantly monitoring its use and will make adjustments as needed."

But some students question the safety and practicality of the stairwell.

"The stairs and the glass flooring in Gould Plaza cannot be walked on in the rain for fear that you may fall, which has happened to me," said Stern freshman Ginny Pilgrim, who has class in Tisch Hall.

Pilgrim also said the transparency of the stairs is "absolutely daunting."

Stern freshman Xiaolei Dong, who also has classes in Tisch Hall, said while he feels safe using the stairwell, he understands why others may feel unsafe.

"They shake every time you go on them," Dong said.

Carroll said aside from its safety issues, the stairwell provides a "modern, light-filled space."

"The key benefit of these stairs is their ability to bring natural light into a space that was formerly quite dark and unwelcoming," Carroll said. "We wanted a space where our students are excited to spend their time — both to learn and to engage in a dynamic community."

However, Pilgrim believes priorities were skewed in the construction of the stairwell.

"This is simply a case of choosing fashion over function," she said.

NYU's Tisch Hall building has been undergoing major renovations since 2008, when the $35 million Concourse Project began.

Source: nyunews.comAuthor: shangyi

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