Columbia Opens Residence Halls to Doctors and Healthcare Workers

March 27, 2020

In an effort to stay on top of the needs of our colleagues on the frontlines in New York City hospitals and clinics during this global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Columbia University yesterday confirmed that three residence halls will be turned over to doctors and other healthcare workers so they can avoid long commutes and the risk of infecting others.

A total, so far, of 170 apartments at Watt Hall, on 113th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, and Woodbridge Hall, on 115th Street and Riverside Drive, will now be made available to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital staff. This is in addition to 212 units in Bard Hall at Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus in northern Manhattan. The hospital is distributing keys. Occupancy at Watt began this morning, March 27, at 8 a.m., followed by Bard at 3 p.m., and will start at Woodbridge on Sunday, March 29 at 8 p.m.

Columbia Public Safety will control around-the-clock access to the buildings. Regular custodial and maintenance services will be provided in the common areas—corridors, stairwells, elevators—garbage and recycling removal will occur at central collection areas, and rooms will be cleaned when occupants turn over.

The Columbia University shuttle bus service is available to ferry staff to and from Watt and Woodbridge in Morningside Heights and the hospital in Washington Heights. Three shuttles will operate on a regular academic year schedule from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week, including holidays.

“We are honored to support our healthcare professionals in any way we can as they lead us through this extraordinary time,” said Scott Wright, Vice President of Campus Services at Columbia University.

Added Diana Mejia, Assistant Vice President of Campus Operations and Housing Services at the medical center, “Bard Hall is a very symbolic part of the medical school journey here at CUIMC. It seems especially fitting that we are able to use this residence hall to support our courageous colleagues on the frontlines at NewYork-Presbyterian.”