Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Excavation endangers day care center

From the NY Times:

A day care center on the Lower East Side was displaced Thursday evening when excavation work on the building site next door caused the day care center’s building to crack, the Department of Buildings said. No one was evacuated – the day care center, Action for Progress at 255 East Houston Street near Suffolk Street, was not in session when the order was issued.

Building inspectors issued violations to the owners of the neighboring lot, 265 East Houston at Suffolk Street, were issued violations for damaging the day care center’s four-story building and ordered to repair it, said Ryan Fitzgibbon, a spokeswoman for the department. A stop-work order was issued for 265 Houston, where the owners intend to erect an eight-story building with 13 or 14 market-rate apartments.

Inspectors, Ms. Fitzgibbon said, found cracks in the facade of 255 on Thursday that “compromised the structural integrity” of the building. On Friday, one of the developers of the site, Enrique Cruz, said that his contractors had been in the process of digging 130 holes on the site to sink foundation supports when their electronic sensors picked up vibrations in the day care center. The contractors, Central Construction Management of Queens, notified the Buildings Department themselves, Mr. Cruz said.

The center cannot move back into the building until the problems are fixed, Ms. Fitzgibbon said.

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