$71 million from New York City and State legislators will fund critical repairs to the City’s CUNY campuses

Queens, NY – City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Committee on Finance Chair Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr., Committee on Higher Education Chair Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Catherine Nolan today announced $71 million in capital funding to make critical infrastructure repairs to New York City’s CUNY campuses.

The $71 million was approved in this year’s 2013 City Capital budget and will be allocated over a four year period. The Council and the Bloomberg Administration will split the cost and the State will provide matching funds.

“Education is the foundation for advancement, and our institutions of higher learning should reflect that commitment to success,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The $71 million from the City and State will go a long way in ensuring CUNY makes the vital repairs it needs to keep our public universities the crown jewel of New York City. I thank my colleagues in the Council, the State legislature, and the Bloomberg administration for our shared commitment to CUNY and look forward to seeing these important projects come to fruition.”

The announcement was made at LaGuardia Community College, the first project to be funded with City capital funds. The antique terra cotta façade of the nearly 100 year old Center 3 building, originally constructed for use as the Loose-Wiles Sunshine Biscuit factory, will be replaced with a modern, energy-efficient façade that will carry on Center 3’s prominent place in the Long Island City skyline.

“Speaker Quinn and the City Council understand that higher education is key to New York City’s growth and vibrancy and a catalyst for economic development,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College. “Through their leadership millions of dollars in much needed funds were provided to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for our growing student population at LaGuardia and throughout CUNY. At LaGuardia alone, more than 50,000 people study at the college each year and with the Speaker’s support we will be able to make sure our buildings can meet the growing demands for high-quality, affordable education.”

“CUNY’s community college campuses have been in dire need of repair for decades now and it is exciting to know that at last, enough funding has been made available for these very crucial restorations,” said Councilman and Finance Chair, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “The $71 million that has been set aside will make it possible for our community colleges to upgrade essential facility items, bolstering their appearance and structural stability. I’d like to acknowledge and thank Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn for working collectively to allocate this funding.”

“I am proud to see the city funding that we fought to secure going to such a great project for such a great school”, said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Improving our community colleges is the first step towards getting the 20 percent of New Yorkers in poverty, back on their feet.”

The $71 million will enable CUNY to make needed repairs to campuses across the City. Each of the CUNY campuses has specific facilities issues that will be addressed:

Bronx Community College: The $71 million in funding will allow CUNY to continue construction at Bronx Community College, where the campus central plant and heating, cooling, and electrical distribution infrastructure are undergoing needed upgrades. The additional city funding given this year will enable the next phase to move into construction quickly.

Hostos Community College: Hostos Community College is undergoing a phased, comprehensive renovation of the five-story 500 Grand Concourse facility. The first and fifth floors are renovated, and this additional funding will allow for completion of the remaining floors and finish the long-term renovation within the next several years.

Kingsborough Community College: The campus fire alarm system at Kingsborough Community College is in need of modernization. City and state funding will allow CUNY to continue those upgrades as well as continue with the roof repair/replacement program of the last several years.

Borough of Manhattan Community College: The deteriorated windows at Borough of Manhattan Community College will be replaced with new energy-efficient ones. Continuing
façade repairs and other critical maintenance issues will also be addressed.

Queensborough Community College: Three roofs at Queensborough Community College will undergo replacement. In addition, CUNY will continue to make ADA-accessibility upgrades to the campus theater, including elevator replacement, installation of disabled-accessible ramps, restroom reconfiguration, and upgrades to the stage.

Speaker Quinn and elected officials were joined by Bronx Community College President Carole B. Joseph, Hostos Community College President Matos Rodriguez, The New Community College at CUNY President Scott Evenbeck, Queensborough Community College President Diane Call, CUNY Vice Chancellor Iris Weinshall, Kingsborough Community College Provost Stuart Suss, and Kingsborough Community College Vice President William Keller.

“We can never invest too much in our higher education system, and the allocation of this $71 million in CUNY capital funding is terrific news. The fact that it begins with Long Island City’s LaGuardia Community College is icing on the cake for western Queens. Not only will this money allow students to continue their education in more suitable facilities but it will also add to LaGuardia’s prominence in our community,” said Senator Michael Gianaris.

“By investing in CUNY’s infrastructure we are actively planting the seeds that are necessary in order to expand educational opportunities that millions of New York City residents will benefit from in the future,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “I am proud to have fought hard alongside my colleagues toward securing these vital infrastructure funds which will literally change how we see and utilize the CUNY system for years to come.”

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