Project Information

Project Schedule

Construction of the Commons began on Monday, April 15, 2013. During Phase 1, construction schedule was 7:30am to 6pm Monday to Thursday with no construction Thursday night to Monday morning. During Phase 2 and Phase 3, construction will take place from 7:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Phase #1 – Demolition  – Spring 2013

Phase #2 – Utility Rehabilitation and Replacement –  Summer 2013

Winter Furlough – 11/28/2013

Phase #3 – Surface Improvements – Spring  2014

Winter Furlough – 11/21/2014

Substantial Completion  – Summer 2015

Note: All dates subject to change based on unforeseen conditions and weather.

Presentation by the City of Ithaca on the Project  commons-dia-presentationweb

Final Design by Sasaki & Associates Commons New

History of the Project

In July 2009, the City began working with Sasaki Associates, a Boston-based design firm, to begin the process of evaluating and planning for the future upgrades and repairs to the Commons.

The project began with a number of stakeholder input meetings.  Since then, Sasaki has worked closely with City staff and a 15-member client committee, appointed by the Mayor, to understand the needs, concerns, and wishes expressed by the public for the future of the Commons.  In addition, Clough Harbor, a civil engineering firm and sub-consultant to Sasaki, evaluated the conditions of all the utilities beneath the Commons’ surface.  The consultants concluded that utility and surface repairs will be extensive and much of the Commons may need to be demolished in order to complete the repairs.

The consultant prepared three conceptual design options for this project, which were presented at a special joint meeting of the Common Council and Board of Public Works on Wednesday, October, 21, 2009.  The public was invited to attend and submit written comments on the plans to the City.  After careful consideration of public feedback, the Common Council voted on January 6, 2010 to approve a concept design that combined elements from two of these options — resulting in a preferred Concept Design.  In the fall of 2010, the Common Council accepted the preliminary design concept and authorized funding for design development and the preparation of construction drawings.

One of the major issues associated with this project is the trees.  Due to tree locations, health, planting conditions, and growth patterns, Sasaki recommended the removal of many of the trees on the Commons as a part of this project.  In order to fully assess the conditions of the trees, the City hired Urban Arborist.  Urban Arborist completed a full assessment of each of the major trees on the Commons and prepared a report of its findings.  The City has been using this report to work with the Client Committee and Sasaki Associates to determine the best course of action regarding the maintenance, removal, replacement, or transplantation of the trees on the Commons.

Along with Trowbridge Wolf Michaels, LaBella Associates, and HOLT Architects, Sasaki Associates was contracted to complete the final design of this project.

7 thoughts on “Project Information

  1. I think the commons will be very nice! I like the idea of the walking space being in the middle. I think it will flow much better and this way it will be much more open.

  2. I appreciate the time and effort that has been put in to the designing/planning stages of the Commons project. Many urban planners seem to jump into the construction process before taking into account the opinions of the local residents, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for the Commons project. I hope you continue to consider the public opinion in your decision-making process.

  3. I think its a good idea that the commons is being fixed to make it a safer place for people to hang out.

  4. I think the ideas for the new commons are good and its awesome how much thought and planning went into the project as a whole. I really like the idea of more open space, and trees to walk in between on the commons.

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