more on Milstein

Once Milstein Hall gets a certificate of occupancy, it becomes an “existing building” and therefore becomes subject to the current building code (the Existing Buiding Code of New York State) when and if any future alterations are proposed.

I believe that certain ideas for future alterations, for example, putting some or all of the Fine Arts Library in Milstein, or even making certain alterations in E. Sibley Hall, would not be possible, since any such alterations involving a change of occupancy group to a higher hazard category would need to comply with the height and area requirements of the current code — specifically chapter 5 of the Building Code of New York State — under which Milstein-Sibley is nonconforming.

It has always puzzled me why the University would choose to construct a building that is nonconforming with respect to current fire safety codes; the probability that such nonconformance would make the building relatively inflexible with respect to future alterations adds a new and important concern. In light of this, I have again suggested to various University administrators that they put this project on hold, so that this issue, and many others, can be more carefully considered and evaluated.

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