On July 22, 2020, New York City Department of Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner for Public Buildings Thomas Foley presented the fifth session of DDC STEAM’s Virtual Lunch and Learn Program to over 35 students across New York City. Lunch and Learn is a one hour interactive presentation by DDC professionals speaking about their current role, career path and education. The series connects DDC professionals in the built environment, administration, construction management and design to students to share their experience and knowledge.
Deputy Commissioner Foley spoke about DDC’s Public Buildings efforts during the global health crisis. He discussed and displayed projects DDC has constructed and/or is planning to construct throughout New York, including but not limited to Queens Theatre in the Park, Elmhurst Community Library, NYPD 40th Precinct, FDNY Rescue 2, and the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station. Deputy Commission Foley stated, “DDC is committed to delivering capital projects that are inspiring, enduring, practical, constructible and cost sensitive.” He encouraged students to evaluate their career paths noting that, “working with the city and various different agencies, students will gain great exposure to projects across the industry spectrum.”
“As the City's primary capital construction project manager, DDC builds many of the civic facilities New Yorkers use every day. Deputy Commissioner Foley and the amazing team in Public Buildings have been working to ensure clarity and stability as we navigate the pandemic and provide city residents with much needed facilities,” stated Lee Llambelis, Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives.
DDC’s Public Buildings has also partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals to manage the design, construction and operations for the COVID-19 positive Emergency Room Program at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Queens, and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. Deputy Commissioner Foley noted that the Public Buildings Division has provided more than 1,100 beds for patients within the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and also helped set up 5 various testing lab facilities in Manhattan and the Bronx.
DDC and NYC Health + Hospitals are also establishing three Centers of Excellence which will be operated by Gotham Health that will provide comprehensive outpatient primary care services to COVID-19 survivors. What would normally be a 2+ year construction schedule has been compressed to meet high emergency demands. These Centers for Excellence are projected to be completed by this fall and will be located in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
Alongside managing construction projects to aid the city during quarantine, Public Buildings is also managing vendors that are providing low-income senior citizens with air conditioners.
Deputy Commissioner Thomas Foley P.E., CCM, ENV SP manages the overall direction of DDC's Public Buildings Division, supported by 450 executives, managerial, professional, and administrative staff with over 711 active projects serving 28 sponsor agencies with portfolios valued at over 10 billion dollars. He also establishes short and long-term plans for the division to best align with the goals of the agency and provides executive leadership on divisional/agency initiatives.
He manages the $8.7B Borough-Based Jail Program for the Public Buildings Division at DDC. This program is part of the plan to shutter Rikers Island by 2026, and to construct four Borough-based jails in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens by utilizing Design-Build project delivery. A guiding urban design principle for the borough-based jail system proposal is neighborhood integration.
This is part of a once in many generations opportunity to build a smaller and more humane justice system that includes facilities grounded in dignity and respect. These facilities must be beacons of high-quality civic architecture that integrate into the immediate neighborhood context and are assets to all New Yorkers.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc