Columbia University is set to begin construction March 12 on an $8.9-million upgrade to its two-story, 22,500-sq-ft Core Lab facility on the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus in Palisades, N.Y. The project includes some demolition work to make room for lab space, says Jessica Vail, marketing manager at construction manager Sordoni Construction, Chester, N.J.

Rendering Courtesy of Payette

Sordoni and the design team of architectural firm Payette as well as Vanderweil Engineers, both of Boston, will provide design and construction services to renovate the majority of the existing lab building to create the new Lamont Center for Bio-Geochemistry. There is a LEED portion of the project that includes converting the existing roof into a promenade that includes shallow succulent plantings, Vail says.

With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the National Science Foundation awarded a $7.4 million grant to Columbia in 2010 for the upgrade. The university is financing the remainder, Vail says.