VideoHelen Keller Services

HKS Headquarters Construction Update – Week 22

Man wearing glasses and a collared shirt

On-Screen: Text on a white background that reads: “New Building Update, Week 22″.  The scene then changes to Joe Bruno standing in front of a large white poster.

Joe: Hey, good day folks, it’s Joe Bruno, C.E.O. of Helen Keller Services, and I wanted to give you an update. As you will see throughout my conversation, shots of various parts of the site, and what you’re going to see mainly is lots of furniture! And one of the key areas, are the workstations that have been put in that allow our office to be an open environment. The kind of open architecture for offices is the way we go today.

On-Screen: The scene cuts to three photos of groups of cubicles inside the office. The scene then cuts back to Joe talking.

Joe: The reason is: collaboration is easier, the move-about is easier, knowing who’s where and when is important, having lots of conference rooms– lots of glass, so everyone kind of feels part of the organization, and can see all the energy that’s going on. So what you’ll see in the workstations are they are large, they are nicely done, they are very private, they are higher than the normal workstation with glass above so light can enter into your work area, but also give you the kind of privacy you want.

On-Screen: The scene cuts to three photos focusing on single desks inside the cubicles. The scene then cuts back to Joe talking.

Joe: If you look at some of the offices, you’ll see that they’re basically set up with furniture. The floors are in, all the painting is in, and the doors are in. So we have a very– a very complete office right now. One of the things that has bedeviled us is “when can we move in?”

On-Screen: The scene cuts to three shots of offices. One image of an office with 2 U-shaped desks back to back, an image of an office with a large L shaped desk, and a photo of an office with large windows and a large U-shaped desk inside of it. The scene then cuts back to Joe talking.

Joe: So we’re around early August, and we want to get in for the school on the 4th of September, the beginning of the school year, and of course, we’d like to get our office– the overall office in at the same time. So the things that have bedeviled us are some of the bureaucratic issues that we have to deal with. One of the major ones is getting our temporary certificate of occupancy, and for that, we needed lots of approvals from the Department of Buildings, Department of Buildings Elevator, and from the Fire Department, regarding our fire alarm plan, and also our fire protection plan. The key part about approving it is that Fire comes in, and agrees that it’s adequate. We know from the early review of our plan, that they believe our plan is adequate so that they think what we’ve done– what we plan to do is going to make it. So, depending on how quickly we could get a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy– what it’s called is a T.C.O., from the Building Department saying you’ve met all the bureaucratic requirements, then you can now consider moving in. In regard to one other area, the Children’s Learning Center, we still have to get approval from the Department of Health of New York State, the New York City Department of Health, the New York City Department of Education. So we are heavily into our agreements with them, and our work with them to ensure that they feel comfortable, that the new site we are moving your children to provides the security they want, provides the cleanliness they want, and classrooms and gyms– the other areas that will lead to a good experience for some of the young children that come and spend time with us. So I’m confident that once we get the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, much of the others will fall in place. We’ve already done most of the work with the Health Department and the Department of Education, and so that once that’s complete, I think it’s going to move forward. What the date of move-in is right now, I don’t know, but I do know that on September 13th, we have our Gala, which is going to be our 125th Anniversary gala, down in Red Hook, Brooklyn at the Liberty Warehouse. I hope you all got your invitations. If you haven’t, just let me know. But if you have gotten it, consider attending. It’s going to be a wonderful gala! Going to be a historic event with two great honorees: Darcy Stacom from the largest real estate firm in the country, CB Richard Ellis, and Bob Catell, former head of National Grid, and a good friend of Helen Keller over many years. As far as our construction, we are in an office now! The lighting is fabulous with the LED lights, we are comfortable, I had a meeting with staff just recently, and they are all very excited about moving in. We know that– just the fact that all of us will be on one large 44,000 square foot floor will make a huge difference in the morale of everyone, and the ability of everyone to help each other, and share ideas with each other, so that the future of Helen Keller is strong. We only spent 63 years at 57 Willoughby Street so, I’m hoping for at least another 63 years at 180 Livingston Street. I look forward to seeing you at the gala, I look forward to any comments you have to say about this video or anything else we’re doing, and give you the next one, next time. Thank you!

On-Screen: Text on a white background that reads: To learn more about our 125th Anniversary Gala, and to RSVP, please visit: The scene then changes to the Helen Keller 125th Anniversary logo, and blue text that reads “#HKS125” on a white background. [End of Transcript]

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