Queens Borough President Helen Marshall presided over the dedication of “The Forum at Borough Hall,” the $23 million, 11,000-square-foot expansion at Queens’ civic headquarters.
The multi-functional, indoor meeting space was built in the rear courtyard of Borough Hall. It is the first addition to the building since it opened more than 70 years ago and will serve as a location for government hearings, community meetings, cultural performances and other public events.
The forum consists of the previously open three-sided courtyard, now enclosed with a glazed roof and wall, creating a large, naturally-lit, three-story high space. The Forum’s barrel-vaulted roof is supported with large bow steel trusses and new structural columns.
At the south end of the Forum, a new opening was created in the existing Borough Hall faÁade to provide access to a series of terraces that overlook the open atrium space. This “belvedere” structure houses new toilet facilities and a space for a concession kiosk.
There is a large stage with a floating canopy that will provide a venue for public events. A new elevator will provide access to all level of the Forum.
New trees will be planted along both sides of the atrium space. Additional trees will also be planted outside The Forum.
The north faÁade includes a new curtain wall and stone faÁade that face the green open space at the rear of the site. New finishes will complement the brick of the existing Borough Hall facades, which were retained as part of the design.
The Forum will include an energy-efficient mechanical and lighting system, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and other green technology. The project is scheduled to receive a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Forum will officially open in February.
The ceremony on Monday included a performance by the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts choir and the unveiling of a plaque that will be erected inside The Forum. Joining Marshall at the ceremony were Edna Wells Handy, left, commissioner of the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services; David Resnick, deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction; and New York City Comptroller John Liu.