FLUSHING, N.Y. – Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology has completed a multi-phase expansion, renovation, and sound abatement project at the college’s main campus.
The three-year project has completely transformed the main campus of the 82-year-old private institution, which has more than 1,700 students. The school offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degree programs in airport management, engineering, technology, and aviation.
According to Regina Gallagher Marengo, P.E., president of construction manager Ensign Engineering, who managed the renovation, “The nearly $40 million project equipped Vaughn College with expanded and renovated educational and technical facilities; new physics, mechanical, structural, and materials testing laboratories; new public spaces; a new, two-story library and teaching and learning center; upgraded building systems; and the robust sound insulation necessary for a college located only 200 feet from one of LaGuardia Airport’s runways.”
The renovations were financed from two sources. Vaughn received grant funds totaling approximately $32 million from the FAA and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to soundproof the building. Vaughn invested $7 million from its own funds.
The project called for the installation of building envelope sound insulation, renovations, re-programming, and building system upgrades to all campus components undergoing renovations. This included the main, one-story structure originally built in 1940; the 1983 classroom building; and a two-story classroom building and a hangar with a 65-foot observation tower, both of which were built in 1997. Two buildings that are not being renovated are the residence hall, which was built with sufficient acoustical insulation, and the engine-testing building, where the noise protection is provided individually.
Vaughn College was originally established in 1932 in Newark, N.J., and moved to its current location in 1941. The Queens, N.Y., site provided easy access to LaGuardia Airport, which is situated across the Grand Central Parkway. Continued expansion of the airport resulted in one of its new runways terminating just 200 feet away from the school, which, along with low-flying airplanes, increased the noise level to the point of interfering with educational activities.