Steel Topping Out Ceremony Marks Milestone In New Hudson Valley Community College Facility
Training Programs in Semiconductor Manufacturing and Clean Energy Technologies will be Offered
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FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009
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Hudson Valley Community College today marked a milestone in the construction phase of the college's new $13.5 million facility, TEC-SMART (Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies), in Malta, NY. The "Steel Topping Out Ceremony" placed the last steel beam of what will be a state-of-the-art educational training center.
The mission of TEC-SMART is to serve the region, state and nation as the premier resource for clean energy technologies and semiconductor manufacturing training and education; establishing New York State as a national leader in meeting the 21st century workforce demands. It is estimated that TEC-SMART will train between 500 and 600 technicians in the next five to 10 years to keep pace with industry employment needs.
"Hudson Valley Community College is excited to expand its program offerings into Saratoga County," said President Andrew J. Matonak. "TEC-SMART is another example of the college's commitment to the technology industry by providing a skilled workforce needed for the growing semiconductor manufacturing and clean energy industries of today and tomorrow."
A "Steel Topping Out Ceremony" is a construction industry tradition in which the last steel beam of the structure is put into place. Today's ceremony included the traditional signing of the beam by the steel workers on the job and representatives of the partnering organizations. It also included the placing of an evergreen tree upon the structure to symbolize growth and bring luck. Also placed atop the structure were the flags of the United States, New York State and Ironworkers Local 12.
The facility, scheduled to open in January 2010, will feature more than a dozen classrooms and laboratories that will be used to train the workforce in green technologies, including semiconductor manufacturing, alternative fuels, and installation and maintenance of photovoltaic, geothermal and wind energy systems. In addition, courses will be offered in Business and the Liberal Arts and Sciences area, including English, psychology, math and more. The $13.5 million in state funding was directed to this project by former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
The facility was designed by the New York City-based architecture firm of Perkins+Will and LeChase Construction is the construction manager.
TEC-SMART is being constructed in New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Saratoga Technology + Energy Park® (STEP®), which is a special destination for clean-energy and environmental technology companies in the heart of New York's Tech Valley. NYSERDA is providing oversight for the construction of TEC-SMART.
"Upon completion in January 2010, TEC-SMART will be a state-of-the art training center preparing New York's green collar and highly skilled workers with the skills for job placement in the semiconductor manufacturing, alternative energy, and environmental technologies industries," said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. "Today's topping out ceremony is another milestone achievement in the overall development of STEP and Governor David A. Paterson's vision of New York as home to clean energy and environmental technology companies that create jobs and who are dedicated to improving our environment."
By integrating sustainable building practices into this project, Perkins+Will and LeChase have been instrumental in creating an educational facility that is not only cleaner and healthier for occupants and the environment, but also represents significant advances to unite energy awareness and high-tech education.
"We worked closely with Hudson Valley Community College and NYSERDA to create a building that will practice what it preaches, with sustainable technology as the focus of the design as well as the curriculum," said Michael Kihn, Perkins+Will's managing principal for the project.
"The topping off ceremony is a long-standing tradition in the construction industry marking the moment the highest structural point in the building construction is achieved – history signifies this event as one to bestow good luck for the future occupants of the building," said William H. Goodrich, president and CEO of LeChase Construction. "LeChase Construction is excited to serve as the Construction Manager for this state-of-the-art education facility that will serve as a showcase for energy efficient technology. This facility will represent significant advances in uniting energy awareness and high-tech education and is on track for achieving LEED® certification."
The design of the 42,000-square foot building represents Hudson Valley's commitment to education and investment in the future of sustainable technology. TEC-SMART will qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification "Gold" from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is incorporating "green build" techniques, which include the use of solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, and passive solar systems.
In addition, TEC-SMART will serve as a central location where the community can learn about energy issues and green technologies, helping to increase awareness of the need for and availability of clean energy sources. The facility will be home to an interactive Community Education Center. School groups, community organizations and businesses will be invited to visit the Education Center, take advantage of courses offered, and utilize the facility to host meetings and seminars.
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 workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,500 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.