Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

July 8, 2015

High School Summer Internship Participants Visit Construction Sites

As part of the DDC High School Summer Internship Program, 30 interns traveled to the Bronx to visit active and recently completed DDC construction projects. During these site visits the interns learned the background of each project, the details of construction, and the ways in which each project will serve the surrounding communities. The interns were also given career advice and encouragement from experienced professionals in the field and were able to ask many questions about the sites and architecture, construction, and engineering in general. The interns were joined by the Deputy Commissioner of Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis and the STEAM Initiatives program coordinators. 


The first site visit was to PSAC II (Public Safety Answering Center II) in the Bronx, which is set to be a redundant back-up 911 call center in the case of a city emergency like that of 9/11. The Center, a joint project between the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the Department of Design and Construction, will house NYPD, FDNY and EMS emergency dispatchers.  Project Executive Dale Peterson led the tour through PSAC highlighting the extra safety measures taken to secure the building and the process of taking a project from conception through delivery. After the tour, Dale took a moment to share some career advice and words of wisdom from his extensive career:

3 Pieces of Advice from Dale Peterson

  1. Getting into the business is by word of mouth. Get into a company, no matter what position it is, even if it’s making copies and meet people.
  2. Over the years you will meet many people – build great relationships with them. It’s really helpful to have great friends, especially if you have 20-30 good friends who will want to work with you.
  3. Passion is everything – Passion is an important part of success. I’ve been working on this project for 6 ½ years and the passion is what gets me up in the morning ready to work on it.

The Highbridge

After PSAC II, the interns departed for the High Bridge where resident engineer Bharat Patel led them on a guided walk over the bridge highlighting its unique history and structural elements. The bridge features bronze medallions across its length telling its story - from its construction as an aqueduct to its reopening as a pedestrian and wheelchair accessible path and bikeway in June of 2015. Mr. Patel spoke to the interns about some of the other unique features of the High Bridge - including the restored railings and benches on either side of the bridge that were sent to Alabama for restoration and the safety fences that were sent to Switzerland for the oxidization process - details which put into context the national and global scale of building in New York City. 

Fordham Plaza

The final site visit of the day was Fordham Plaza where Dickens Charles and Jonathan Conte explained the significance of reworking the plaza to create safe traffic flow and a space for vendors and the community. Construction at the plaza will also include a new Metro North station with a wider, better lit, and more accessible platform. Another highlight of the plaza that the interns learned about was the environmental engineering that will take place there, which includes tree plantings and sidewalks, curbs and a roadway subsurface that will improve drainage in the plaza. Completion of the plaza is expected in Fall 2015.