Building 2M's new Atrium on the College of Staten Island's Willowbrook campus

A new soaring glass atrium and beautifully renovated classrooms are just the beginning for Building 2M at the College of Staten Island.

The entire 75,000-square-foot structure will eventually be transformed into a state-of-the-art learning facility, according to Hope Berte, Interim Vice President, Campus Planning, Facilities Management and Operations.

The project is off to a great start, with the initial phase already drawing attention, claiming an award for Excellence in Exterior in the 2018 Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Building Awards Program.

“The 2M construction project aligns with our new Strategic Plan titled Opportunity to Ascend,’’ Berte explained. “The increased usable square footage this building will provide to the College will strengthen CSI’s commitment to teaching, scholarship, and creative activities; increase innovative approaches to student success; and advance the College’s standing as a destination campus.’’

The 2,000-square-foot atrium serves as the grand entry to the historic building and features an aluminum curtain wall system with fully insulated glass and a tempered glass canopy.

“This new entry provides a connection with the outdoors through the introduction of daylight and views into the building,’’ Berte explained.

Also part of the first phase of the renovation was a down-to-the-studs renovation of space to create nine classrooms, a student lounge, a computer lab, and two administrative offices. This area is currently being used primarily by the College’s School of Business.

Vacant for decades, the structure nearly fell victim to the wrecking ball, but was saved when the College took over the former Willowbrook State School site in 1993.

“Almost 30 years later, we’re looking at converting the structure into classrooms, teaching space, and conference space,’’ Berte said.

The next phase calls for a complete renovation of the first floor, which has already been gutted. The College is awaiting state approval to move ahead with construction, which, it is hoped, will commence within the next two to three months, Berte noted.

This phase includes building additional faculty office space and student-faculty collaborative rooms, while creating space for the College’s Con Edison trading room floor, currently housed in a different building on CSI’s sprawling 204-acre campus, where students get a real-life view of the stock market.

Long-term plans call for housing the entire business school in the building, but that will likely take many years to complete.

“The goal is to increase the number of classrooms and collaborative classrooms for our campus community,’’ Berte said. “This is a multimillion dollar project being done over the course of a number of years.’’

The College of Staten Island is a four-year, senior college of The City University of New York, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate and continuing education programs. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the College also has an extensive continuing education program and offers off-campus courses with and without credit.

Completed in 1994, the campus includes 300 classrooms; laboratories and instructional spaces; study lounges; department, program, and faculty offices; along with extensive athletic facilities and an acclaimed Center for the Arts.

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