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Hudson Valley Community College's New Science Center Receives Major Gifts

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Aug. 13, 2012

Hudson Valley Community College’s $35 million, 100,000-square-foot science center, currently under construction and slated to open in the fall of 2013, has been the recipient of two major monetary gifts in recent months.

In July, the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation received a $100,000 gift from the Philly and Charlie Dake Foundation; the Dakes were family owners of Stewart’s Shops. Ray Kimmelblatt, executive director of Hudson Valley’s foundation, says, “Hudson Valley is proud and honored to have received such a generous gift in the weeks after Philly Dake's passing. While she will be sorely missed in our community, her generosity and belief in investing in the leaders of tomorrow will live on at Hudson Valley.”

In August, CAP COM Federal Credit Union made a gift commitment of $100,000 for the Science Center. This is in addition to a $100,000 pledge to the college’s Nursing program and a scholarship made by CAP COM in 2008.

This is the second gift the Foundation has received from Dake family charities in recent years. From 2010 to 2011, Stewart's Shops supported the college’s Nursing program with a $25,000 contribution, as the college undertook an effort to increase the number of nursing graduates to meet the region's growing healthcare needs. “Stewart’s and the Dake family are committed to giving back to all the communities in which Stewart’s Shops are located. Hudson Valley Community College is a powerful force in making our communities stronger and healthier. It is our privilege to support their initiatives,” said Susan L. Dake.

Additionally, Hudson Valley and CAP COM have a longstanding relationship. CAP COM President and CEO Paula Stopera is a graduate of Hudson Valley, while two senior members of the credit union’s leadership team serve on the Foundation Board, including Foundation Board Chairman John M. Shartrand.

“Hudson Valley is such an important and integral part of our community, and I believe it is our collective responsibility to support it,” says Stopera.

Both of these recent contributions are in response to the Foundation’s campaign to raise approximately $2 million to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the new science building. Though the $34 million building is publicly funded, with 50 percent from New York State and 50 percent from the college’s capital chargebacks and bonding through Rensselaer County, the Foundation has stepped forward to seek funding that will ensure Hudson Valley students are well-trained on state-of-the-art equipment.

“Our goal with this technologically advanced science center is to prepare students to seamlessly transition into the local biotechnology, biomanufacturing and healthcare workforce, or to continue their education at leading colleges and universities throughout the country,” says Andrew J. Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College. “As the Capital Region continues to develop into a 21st century biotechnology/bio-manufacturing hub, with increasing demands for qualified scientists and technicians, degrees in the sciences are becoming critical. Hudson Valley intends to be in the educational forefront for this development.”

“You don't see such business-education partnerships every day,” comments Kimmelblatt . “The Foundation has grown leaps and bounds thanks to CAP COM's financial and volunteer resources, and Stewart’s has been a steadfast supporter of Hudson Valley’s educational efforts as well.”

Twenty-five fully equipped laboratories in the new science center will provide for the study of biology, chemistry, physics, biotechnology, earth science and forensics. The center also will house 11 classrooms, faculty and staff offices, conference spaces, a science study center and a greenhouse.

Since 2005, the college has seen an enrollment increase of 30 percent in biology, chemistry and physics courses, and the number of course sections being taught has increased 26 percent. Our highly respected science program graduates bring a solid educational foundation to the job market or to other institutions of higher learning.

The center is planned to achieve LEED Silver-certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) through stringent air quality control, day lighting, energy and water conservation systems and reduced carbon emissions in its operation.

Mosaic Associates of East Greenbush, a firm that has been in business since 1865 and specializes in the design of educational facilities, collaborated on the design of the building with science facility design firm Payette of Boston. Other consultants include RG Vanderweil, Capital Region-based Ryan-Biggs and the LA Group. U.W. Marx Construction Company is the project manager.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 13,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.