On Tuesday, Sept. 17, SUNY New Paltz officially opened its new state-of-the-art engineering building, the Engineering Innovation Hub, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The project was made possible by a $10 million award from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “NYSUNY2020” grant program, and $1 million through the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual Consolidated Funding Application. According to the governor’s website, the Engineering Innovation Hub will create about 195 full-time jobs and “millions of dollars in economic impact in New Paltz and the entire region.”
Before the official ribbon-cutting, SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian addressed the crowd with gratitude, noting the goals of the new Engineering Hub’s construction, and thanking those who made it possible.
“This modern, 19,500 square foot building will diversify and support SUNY New Paltz’s rapidly growing engineering programs,” Christian said. “It will foster collaboration between the college and local industries: one of our strategic priorities.”
Among the other speakers were Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, SUNY Provost and Senior Chancellor Tod. A Laursen, Mechanical Engineering major Rachel Eisgruber ‘20 and New York State Assemblymember Kevin Cahill ‘77.
Located on a former parking lot next to Resnick Engineering Hall, the Engineering Innovation Hub will house innovative teaching and research spaces, as well as the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC), which is the home of the college’s 3D design and printing program.
“The building brings together not only the teaching community, but it also brings in entrepreneurs and manufacturers from outside the campus to collaborate together,” Architect Ranabir Sengupta of Urbahn Architects said. “And for the student community itself, it adds classroom spaces, labs and lounges that are open to everyone.”
“The old science section was constrained…it was not really a focus,” Cahill said. “This is a focus. This is a demonstration of where we are in the 21st century. This is a demonstration of where we have to go to attract, educate, engage, hopefully enlighten and then inspire the next generation of people who are going to make our world a better place.”
President Christian concluded the opening ceremony by cutting a symbolic blue and orange ribbon with amusingly large scissors, standing side by side with individuals who played a role in the project. They included New Paltz staff, engineering students and representatives from Urbahn Architects and PC Construction.