SUNY New Paltz held a groundbreaking ceremony today for its new science building. The building will add a modern, two-story, steel-framed facility of approximately 77,000-sq.-ft. to the campus and serve as a visual gateway to the College.
“The groundbreaking of our new science building represents a very concrete example of what we can achieve in the interest of our students through vision, advocacy, collaboration, and perseverance,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “The building will provide a fitting educational space for 21st century teaching in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.”
“We’re very excited to see this get started and we will be thrilled to see it inhabited by many bright students,” said Margie DeBolt, partner at Zimmer Gunsel Frasca (ZGF) Architects.
According to DeBolt, the new facility will house the Geology, Geography, Physics and Astronomy, Computer Science and Mathematics departments. It will also feature state-of-the-art research labs, lecture halls, and collaborative spaces to enhance student-faculty interactions and provide improved interdisciplinary teaching.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, who was also on hand for the ceremony, congratulated the College on its efforts to serve the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and researchers. She also applauded the College on its recent $10 million NYSUNY 2020 award.
“This has been a great week for New Paltz. I simply want to underscore that this is a happening place,” Zimpher said. “We’ve been working very hard in many of the STEM fields to improve healthcare, to improve energy efficiency, to stem the leaks in the education pipeline and STEM—and I dare say STEAM, since this is such a critical arts and sciences program as well—both contribute to the power of SUNY.”
New York Senator John Bonacic shared a similar sentiment. He said, “You’re giving students, locally, domestically and internationally, a place to come to learn in the STEM programs. You never know if one of these students who come out of a STEM program might have the cure for a disease, might be the next Apple or Google [founder]—that’s what excites me.”
The new science building is scheduled for completion in January 2017. According to DeBolt, the project will be designed to qualify for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.