President Jones announces SUNY Capital Plan and illustrates UAlbany revitalization plans
Congresswoman Patricia Fahy, President Jones and Senator Neil Breslin at the SUNY captial request plan last Friday.
Let’s face it, UAlbany needs a face lift. President Robert Jones proposed a SUNY Capital plan request which calls for $293 million over five years for many capital improvements to the aging University at Albany campus.
The plan spans over 5.8 million square feet on the uptown, downtown and east campuses and will not only revitalize and rejuvenate the existing University but create an estimated 2,500 local jobs between 2013 and 2018.
In Dec. 2012, the SUNY Board of Trustees recommended a $5 billion SUNY Capital Plan for the State University’s state operated campuses over the next five years.
82 percent of UAlbany’s physical components are pushing 50 years old, including the downtown campus, built in the early 1900s and the uptown campuses 21-acre “mega complex” built in the 1960s. More than $1.2 billion in critical maintenance and upgrades are necessary. If the funding is not approved, the university will have to wait four more years to reapply.
“The repairs and renovations the University requires are critical. Adoption of our capital investment plan is central to providing a learning environment for our students that promotes and enhances access, discovery and innovation,” said President Robert Jones.
Many Capital Region business partners, politicians and community leaders and behind the plan.
“The capital improvement needs at the University at Albany are enormous, said State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, “and it is necessary for this delegation to address the funding requests as critical and essential, for the university, for its students, and for the Capital Region.
“As the largest public university in the region and a flagship of the state university system, the University at Albany must be able to successfully maintain and improve its infrastructure for its students, faculty, and staff, while creating Capital Region jobs,” said State Senator Neil D. Breslin.
“This critical capital investment will improve the educational and learning spaces for the University at Albany’s 23,000 students, faculty and staff, while creating thousands of construction jobs to help spur our greater Capital Region economy,” said Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.
The University at Albany’s five-year SUNY Capital Plan will provide a substantial infusion of capital monies into the local economy – in particular general contractors, trades professionals, and architectural/ engineering firms.
“The University at Albany is not just a flagship of SUNY, it’s a critically important partner of the city of Albany,” said Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings. “Adoption of the University’s capital plan will enhance the economic vitality of the city, and provide the much needed infrastructure improvements to drive research and learning for its thousands of students…New York State has a responsibility to provide an affordable educations to all those who want one.”
Kassandra Parisi contributed to this report.