Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation donates $100,000 toward van den Berg Learning Center renovation

NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz has received a $100,000 gift from Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation to help renovate the historic van den Berg Learning Center — the future home of the college’s School of Business and its nursing program.

The gift, which will be paid over five years, will help to renovate the exterior and maintain the entrance of the historic building. Originally built in 1930 as the Campus Practice School, the building is named after Lawrence H. van den Berg, the last principal of the New Paltz Normal School and the first president of the State Teacher’s College at New Paltz (1923-1943).

“One of Ulster Savings’ cornerstones for giving is in the support of educational endeavors throughout our region,” said Clifford Miller, president of Ulster Savings Bank. “SUNY New Paltz is a great economic benefit to our community and provides quality education to the residents of our area. We are very proud to be able to partner with SUNY New Paltz in the renovation of the learning center.”

In the $11 million reconstruction, $8 million of which is funded by State University of New York Construction Fund Capital Funding, SUNY New Paltz continues its effort to raise the remaining $3 million through a private fund-raising initiative to complete the project.

“We are extremely grateful to Ulster Savings Bank for its generosity,” said Steven Poskanzer, president of SUNY New Paltz. “Ulster Savings, which has deep and enduring roots in this region, understands that the renovation of this historic building is important to the economic vitality of the mid-Hudson valley. The demand for high-quality business and health care professionals continues to grow, and the academic programs housed in this building meet those needs.”

Once complete, the renovation will double the amount of classroom and lab space for the School of Business and incorporate several state-of-the-art classrooms wired with the latest educational technology. In addition, the project includes the restoration of the clock tower atop the building that was destroyed by fire in May 1990.

The estimated date of completion of the approximate 50,200-square-foot building is December 2005.