The Bouton parking lot is no more. On Tuesday, Oct. 31, SUNY New Paltz broke ground on its newest project: the construction of a new Engineering Innovation Hub. The College welcomed SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, as well as other leaders in business and government for a ceremonial commencement of the project.
The state-of-the-art facility is slated to be finished by summer of 2019; its creation will contribute to diversifying the engineering program at SUNY New Paltz. The College hopes that expanding engineering facilities will support collaboration between the College and local industry.
The hub’s construction was made possible by a $10 million award granted by the NYSUNY2020 Grant Program, a program erected in 2011 by the State University of New York and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The program is meant to promote not only the strengthening of academic programs across the SUNY system, but it is meant to catalyze regional economic development through the provision of capital to benefit surrounding communities.
The College was also awarded $1 million by the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual Consolidated Funding Application.
The Engineering Hub will be a new home to the new bachelor’s degree program for mechanical engineering, while also containing the 3D design and printing program. The 19,500 square foot hub will also include space for businesses participating in Cuomo’s new economic development incentive, START-UP NY and the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center.
Cuomo discussed the impact of the new building.
“This expansion continues our focus on growing high-tech industries in the Mid-Hudson Valley, while providing quality jobs for men and women throughout the region,” Cuomo said. “The Engineering Innovation Hub is a perfect example of investments in academia that help foster business and industry partnerships, create new jobs and ensure the next generation of leaders continue moving New York forward.”
The Engineering Hub will house parts of the College’s blossoming engineering program, as well as generating a significant economic effect; the project is projected to yield an economic impact of upwards of $75 million in the next ten years, while creating an estimated 195 jobs in the surrounding region.
“The groundbreaking of our new Engineering Innovation Hub represents a clear example of what we can achieve in the interest of our students and the Hudson Valley region through vision, advocacy, collaboration and perseverance,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian.
The Engineering Hub and the initiatives that made its creation possible attempts to address the Hudson Valley region’s need for skilled engineers, while also promoting local businesses.