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01/21/2010
Hudson Valley Community College Secures $54 Million For Construction And Renovation Projects
College To Build $35 Million Science Center Video Available

CONTACT: Communications and Marketing (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

Video Available Video Highlights of Press Conference

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Hudson Valley Community College today announced that it has secured $54 million to build a new, technologically advanced science center and renovate several academic buildings.

The Rensselaer County Legislature recently passed a $27.2-million bond resolution for the science center and associated renovations on campus. The State of New York, through the Dormitory Authority, also has agreed to bond its 50 percent share of this project (also $27.2 million). Last week, the Rensselaer County Legislature approved the college's recommendation for the project's architect – Mosaic Associates of East Greenbush, NY.

"Hudson Valley Community College must be poised to offer a 21st-century education that meets the needs of the 21st-century workforce," said Hudson Valley Community College President Drew Matonak. "To do this, the college's academic buildings must have the academic atmosphere and technology that empowers students to learn and to thrive in 21st-century laboratory settings."

The funding will allow the college to build a new, 100,000-square-foot science center with laboratories and classrooms equipped with the latest technologies and also renovate various academic buildings. The new science center will cost approximately $35 million. It will be designed to achieve a LEED Silver Certification

The balance of the funds, $19 million, will be used to renovate Amstuz Hall and Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center and other associated projects.

"A well trained local workforce able to fill the jobs of the future is vital to the County's efforts to retain and attract businesses," said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino. "Hudson Valley Community College has provided, and I am certain will continue to provide the educational programs that students need and that will enable them to pursue careers not only in current fields, but in emerging industries as well."

"Hudson Valley Community College is one of the outstanding community colleges in the nation, and the County Legislature is proud to continue our strong support for this great educational resource. The new science center is an investment in our future and the economic well-being of our area," said Legislator Judith Breselor, chairwoman of the Legislature's Education Committee.

Mosaic's first priority will be to solicit the input of faculty and staff to assess the needs for the new science facility. It is expected that this process and the production of construction documents will take until the spring of 2011. At that time, the college will issue a request for proposals for the construction of the facility. Construction should start during the summer of 2011 and be completed by the summer of 2013.

At the same time Mosaic is gathering information for the science center, it also will be collecting information for the renovation projects. This renovation construction will begin in spring of 2013 and it is expected to be complete during the summer of 2014.

"We are thrilled to bring a team of international experts to work with Hudson Valley Community College in bringing to life the vision of an advanced, modern facility that will inspire students and faculty alike," said Hana Panek, AIA, LEED AP, partner, Mosaic Associates. "Realizing the significant role community colleges will have on the future of teaching, research and workforce training, the new science center will evoke a vital presence on campus and serve as a vital resource in our community."

It is anticipated that the science center will be four floors and located to the west of Brahan Hall – between the F-Lot and Brahan. The science center will have an estimated 33 laboratories, 18 classrooms, 60 offices, a conference room, student centers and several storage areas.

Some of the technologies that will be incorporated into the science center are: high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with mass spectroscopy; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); confocal microscopes; flow cytometer and sorters; advanced digital microscopy; DNA sequencers; real-time PCR detection system; and automated protein/RNA electrophoresis.

It is expected that it will be home to the Biology, Chemistry and Physics department and other science-related programs. Programs in this department include Biotechnology, Biological Sciences, Chemical Technician and Environmental Science.

"It is the tradition of Hudson Valley Community College to continually strive to advance to the next level – especially in academic departments," stated Dr. Carolyn G. Curtis, vice president for academic affairs, Hudson Valley Community College. "This new science building will enable us to maintain our competitive edge."

The need for a new science center was identified while developing a campus-wide facilities master plan in 2006. The foundation of the planning process was built upon input from various stakeholder groups, including students, faculty and administration. The planning process also included an accurate inventory of existing conditions, including a comprehensive overview of the form and function of physical spaces on campus.

In 2007, the 2009-2013 Facilities Master Plan was produced. The Plan considered the amount of available time that instructional spaces were being utilized, and then projected the degree of future utilization with expected enrollment growth. Over the past decade, enrollment in the sciences has increased more than 25 percent. Currently there are 7,000 students taking science courses and the college expects an annual increase of 4 to 5 percent due, in part, to the college's new advanced biotechnology certificate and the upcoming bio-manufacturing certificate. It was determined that to best serve the college's students, a new science center should be constructed along with the renovations of academic buildings.

Mosaic Associates of East Greenbush, NY, will serve as the lead firm and architect of record for the Science Center and related renovations. Founded in 1865, Mosaic specializes in the design of educational, commercial and community facilities. Mosaic, which has organized a pre-eminent team in the design of science facilities, will work with design and engineering experts from Payette and Vanderweil of Boston, and Ryan-Biggs and The LA Group from the Capital Region.

Rensselaer County also approved U.W. Marx Construction Company as the project manager. It will be managing and administering, from conceptual stage through planning, the design, construction, start-up and contract close-out of the overall project. U.W. Marx's responsibilities will include general program management, financial management, scheduling, planning, procurement, design management and construction management.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 associate's 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 13,500 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.

Additional Information

Please Note: This information is based on initial findings and may change as the review process develops.

Science Center Timeline:

  • In January 2010, Mosaic Associates will begin to solicit input from Hudson Valley Community College faculty and staff. It is expected that this process and production of construction documents will take until the spring of 2011. At that time, the college will issue a request for proposals for the construction of the facility. Construction should start during the summer of 2011 and be completed in the summer of 2013.

Construction/Renovation Project Schedule and Phasing:

  • Phase I –January 2010 to Spring 2013
    • Design of Science Center
    • Renovation design for Amstuz and Fitzgibbons
    • Construction of Science Center (complete Summer 2013)
  • Phase II – Spring 2013 to Aug. 2014
    • Renovation construction (complete August 2014)

Initial List of Department/Programs to be located in new Science Center:
(This list will continue to develop)

  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics Department
    • Programs
      • Biotechnology
      • Biological Sciences
      • Chemical Technician
      • Environmental Science

Examples of science laboratories, classrooms and office needs in new science center:

  • General Biology laboratories
  • Anatomy and Physiology laboratories
  • Biotechnology laboratories
  • Organic Chemistry laboratories
  • Earth Science laboratory
  • Biology computer laboratory
  • Physics storage area
  • Science study center
  • Science classrooms (large and small)
  • Faculty offices
  • Science conference room

Examples of What Graduates in the Science Programs Do After Graduation:

  • Graduates with either a Chemical Technician or Biotechnology degree will work as lab technicians in a variety of fields. Many of our graduates work at the New York State Police forensic lab, for example, or work alongside research scientists at places like Regeneron or the Wadsworth Lab.
  • Graduates of the Biological Sciences program are generally aiming at completing a four-year degree in medical science, veterinary science, dentistry, pharmacy or other research in science-related areas. The college has transfer agreements with Sage Colleges, Empire State College and SUNY Plattsburgh for this program.
  • The Environmental Science major provides students with a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, the liberal arts and other environmental sciences such as zoology, botany and meteorology. Most of the students in this program also transfer to four-year schools. We have transfer agreements with Russell Sage College, Plattsburgh and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.