Racanelli Construction Company Builds 26,000 SF Multipurpose Athletic Facility At St. Joseph College’s Brooklyn Campus

St. Joseph’s College’s (SJC) varsity teams now have a new 26,000 square foot athletic facility in which to continue their successful sports. The three-story, multipurpose building with rooftop terrace and full-size underground student parking lot was recently completed by Racanelli Construction Company in the heart of the SJC’s Brooklyn Campus at 212 Vanderbilt Avenue. The project, valued at $13.4 million, and for which Racanelli served as the General Contractor, was constructed on a parking lot owned by the college.

On the building’s first floor, there is a full-size gymnasium and team lockers. The second floor includes a VIP booth and administration offices overlooking the gymnasium, as well as a rehabilitation clinic. Located on the third floor is a full workout facility and dance studio along with team rooms for each sport played at the college. The third floor also provides access to the rooftop terrace.


Serving as General Contractor, Racanelli provided a wide range of services. They included:

  • Value engineering to help reduce the project costs;
  • Negotiation of the contract with the owner, along with the negotiation, award and administration of all subcontracts;
  • Management of all project costs;
  • Creation and management of the project schedule;
  • Liaison with all governing agencies having jurisdiction including New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB), Department of
  • Transportation (DOT) and Fire Department (FDNY);
  • Working closely with the project architect and commissioning agent to assure project completion as designed and effective close out; and
  • Provision of all close out documentation to assure a smooth transition to the owner.
  • Successfully completing SJC’s new athletic facility required Racanelli to overcome several challenges. There were tight site logistical conditions which needed to be addressed. They stemmed from space constraints, which included the south side of the building being built on the lot line on the west side which only provided 10 feet from the property line, the north side having only 5 feet from the property line, and the east side having the side walk with which to contend.


    The fact that the property was located so close to the property line also required that Racanelli use solider beams and lagging to support the excavation need for the underground parking lot. During the drilling process for the solider beams and during the excavation, Racanelli uncovered large cobble stones which the company had to work through and remove.


    The environmentally-conscious project was originally designed for LEED Certified status, however, as a result of Racanelli’s full due diligence, the SJC building ultimately was awarded the higher, LEED Gold Certification. This high achievement was accomplished through the strong collaboration of Racanelli, St. Joseph’s college, Bentel & Bentel Architects, the engineering firm of e4, Inc. and its LEED Consultants, and AKF Commissioning Agents, among others. The coordination of the project design and construction was critical to achieving LEED certification goals. During the construction process, it was vital that the documentation and submittal responsibilities were clearly outlined early in the process. Regular updates to the project team also were necessary to ensure that the project obtained its LEED credit targets.


    Among the major green building and environmentally-friendly features of the new SJC facility are:


    -Storm water quality control,

    -Water use reduction,

    -Use of recycled content materials,

    -Use of regional construction materials to save on transportation and greenhouse gas emissions,

    -Indoor air quality management during construction,

    -Use of low-emitting construction materials for the benefit of the occupants,

    -Enhanced commissioning of building systems to ensure efficient operation, and

    -Installation of energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems,


    As a result of this successful project, SJC Brooklyn now has an environmentally-friendly, 290-spectator NCAA-regulation basketball and volleyball court, spacious athlete locker rooms, a fully-equipped fitness center, athletic training room, multipurpose/video conference room, fully-furnished dance studio and an outdoor terrace to accommodate its vibrant student sports programs and student life.


      Project Team:

    General Contractor - Racanelli Construction Company

    Architect – Bentel & Bentel Architects

    Engineer – e4, Inc.

    Commissioning Agents - AKF