SUNY Broome Culinary School Adaptive Reuse Renovation

Binghamton, NY

11,000 SF
15,000 SF

Transforming an Abandoned Historic Structure into a Culinary Institute

MJ was part of a team that provided renovations and additions to the 26,000 sq ft former Carnegie Library Building. The building, constructed in 1903, was converted into classroom, administration, and assembly spaces to serve the needs of the Culinary Arts Program for SUNY Broome, and will have a mixed use and occupancy classification. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, requiring that the historical value of the building be maintained throughout the renovations.

McFarland Johnson had the privilege of providing practical energy-saving mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering design solutions for this $15M project. In addition to the extensive renovation work and programming of every space in the building, an 11,000 sq ft addition was designed behind this historic structure to house a majority of the cooking classroom space.

The cutting-edge HVAC system consists of air-cooled variable refrigerant flow (VRF) terminal units serving the interior spaces, dedicated outdoor air units with heat recovery, in-floor radiant heating, multiple kitchen exhaust hoods serving the culinary kitchen classrooms, and a digital building automation system that connects this building to the main campus automation system.

The electrical systems include all new electrical power and distribution systems; audio/video/telecom/IT systems; fire alarm; occupancy sensors; and LED lighting.

All new plumbing systems and a fire protection system were incorporated, with exposed piping that was painted a faux aged-copper color to compliment this historic jewel of a building.


  • 2021 Preservation League of NYS - Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • 2021 Preservation Association of the Southern Tier (PAST) - Project of the Year Award
  • 2020 NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - New York State Historic Preservation Award