Dear members of the Barnard community,For those of us who will remain on campus for the summer, I thought I'd provide an update outlining several activities that will be happening over the next few weeks and months.Swing Space Construction: As mentioned earlier, LeFrak Gym will be repurposed into two floors that will serve as swing space. The first floor will house library functions during the construction period and the second floor will be home to four academic departments -- History, Political Science, Economics, and Urban Studies.Construction activities in the gym will be starting this week so below is a preview of what you can expect.May 18th - May 22nd: The gym will be offline as we begin to prepare for construction.June 1st - June 12th: We plan to use the courtyard between the Vagelos Alumnae Center and the south end of Barnard Hall as a staging area for materials and equipment needed for work in the gym. This means that we will cordon off much of this space, leaving a corridor for continued access to the Vagelos Alumnae Center. Workers will enter the gym via Claremont Avenue - a portable stair will be erected leading from Claremont to the courtyard. There will be a small lane closure for trucks in front of the area, affecting a few parking spots.June 15th - Mid-August: We will begin construction, where we will focus on the installation of the new second floor. We are planning to do the construction work weekdays from 8am-4pm. You should know that the work will be noisy but is timed when few activities will occur in Barnard Hall. As we move through construction we will be sure to retain several artifacts from LeFrak that have value to the Barnard community.During this time, we will also be removing the air conditioning duct that runs through Dance Studios 305-6 and working to sound proof the wall between the studios.Mid-August: To accommodate the larger volume in a two-story LeFrak, we will be installing a large air handling unit on the roof of Barnard Annex. Installation of the new air handling unit will require the use of a crane parked on Claremont.Taking Care of the Magnolia Tree: Many of you have asked about how we plan to care for our beautiful magnolia tree during the construction period. I know how important the magnolia tree is to the entire Barnard community and we have given a lot of thoughtful consideration to its care during construction.  To put it simply, the magnolia tree will have to move, but the good news is that it won't be moving far.  We have professional arborists, landscape architects, and our own biology department on the case, using procedures that are well-informed by plant science and well-established by their successful use at other sites. The move will occur in a few phases. In the next week or so, our arborist will provide a mulch bed around the tree to promote healthy root growth and function, important for the health of the tree's branches and leaves. Sometime between late May and early July, our team will prune the tree's roots. In this region, natural root growth is concentrated at the beginning of the growing season, slowing as temperatures rise and soils dry out in early to mid-summer. By pruning in late spring/summer and then fertilizing and irrigating appropriately, we can induce better-than-normal root growth this year, setting the tree up for success in its move and a verdant long-term future.Finally, in November, when the tree is experiencing its normal winter dormancy, we will move it approximately [30] feet, near the Diana Center terrace and the fence along Broadway.  Preparing and moving the tree will take a few days, necessitating the closure of the Diana Center terrace for a period of time.  The actual move will take place in a single day. We will move the magnolia tree just once. Its new location by the Diana Center terrace will be its permanent location.  The magnolia will be in a protected zone from the construction activities and will receive great care during this time.  Of course, we will provide much more information as we get closer to the actual move and celebrate the tree appropriately at a future date.   Rest assured that we will take good care of our beloved magnolia before, during, and after construction.As always, we will keep you updated on the progress of construction and upcoming events. For additional information and the latest updates, you all a wonderful summer,Rob GoldbergChief Operating Officer