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Speaker Quinn, City Council, State Legislators and CUNY Announce
City and State Funds to Make Needed Repairs at City's Public Universities
$71 million from New York City and State legislators will fund critical repairs to LaGuardia Community College and other CUNY campuses
Long Island City, NY—October 3, 2012—City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Committee on Finance Chair Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr., Committee on Higher Education Chair Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Catherine Nolan today announced $71 million in City capital funding to make critical infrastructure repairs to the City of New York’s community colleges. The announcement was made at LaGuardia Community College, the first project to be funded with City capital funds.
The $71 million was approved in this year’s 2013 City Capital budget and will be allocated over a four-year period. The Council and the Bloomberg Administration will split the cost and the State will provide matching funds.
“Education is the foundation for advancement, and our institutions of higher learning should reflect that commitment to success,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “With matching funds from the City and State, CUNY can make the vital repairs it needs to keep our public universities the crown jewel of New York City. I thank my colleagues in the Council, the State legislature, and the Bloomberg administration for our shared commitment to CUNY and look forward to seeing these important projects come to fruition.”
The antique terra cotta façade of LaGuardia’s nearly 100-year-old Center 3 building, originally constructed for use as the Loose-Wiles Sunshine Biscuit factory, will be replaced with a modern, energy-efficient façade that will carry on Center 3’s prominent place in the Long Island City skyline.
"Speaker Quinn and the City Council understand that higher education is key to New York City's growth and vibrancy and a catalyst for economic development,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College. “Through their leadership millions of dollars in much needed funds were provided to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for our growing student population at LaGuardia and throughout CUNY. At LaGuardia alone, more than 50,000 people study at the college each year and with the Speaker's support we will be able to make sure our buildings can meet the growing demands for high-quality, affordable education."
“CUNY’s community college campuses have been in dire need of repair for decades now and it is exciting to know that at last, enough funding has been made available for these very crucial restorations,” said Councilman and Finance Chair, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. “The $71 million that has been set aside will make it possible for our community colleges to upgrade essential facility items, bolstering their appearance and structural stability. I’d like to acknowledge and thank Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn for working collectively to allocate this funding.”
“I am proud to see the city funding that we fought to secure going to such a great project for such a great school,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Improving our community colleges is the first step towards getting the 20 percent of New Yorkers in poverty, back on their feet.”
The $71 million from the City, along with matching funds from the State, will enable CUNY to make needed repairs to campuses across the City. Each of the CUNY campuses has specific facilities issues that will be addressed:
Bronx Community College: City funding will allow CUNY to continue construction at Bronx Community College, where the campus central plant and heating, cooling, and electrical distribution infrastructure are undergoing needed upgrades. The additional city funding given this year will enable the next phase to move into construction quickly.
Hostos Community College: Hostos Community College is undergoing a phased, comprehensive renovation of the five-story 500 Grand Concourse facility. The first and fifth floors are renovated, and this additional funding will allow for completion of the remaining floors and finish the long-term renovation within the next several years.
Kingsborough Community College: The campus fire alarm system at Kingsborough Community College is in need of modernization. City and state funding will allow CUNY to continue those upgrades as well as continue with the roof repair/replacement program of the last several years.
Borough of Manhattan Community College: The deteriorated windows at Borough of Manhattan Community College will be replaced with new energy-efficient ones. Continuing façade repairs and other critical maintenance issues will also be addressed.
Queensborough Community College: Three roofs at Queensborough Community College will undergo replacement. In addition, CUNY will continue to make ADA-accessibility upgrades to the campus theater, including elevator replacement, installation of disabled-accessible ramps, restroom reconfiguration, and upgrades to the stage.
Speaker Quinn and elected officials were joined by Bronx Community College President Carole B. Joseph, Hostos Community College President Matos Rodriguez, The New Community College at CUNY President Scott Evenbeck, Queensborough Community College President Diane Call, CUNY Vice Chancellor Iris Weinshall, Kingsborough Community College Provost Stuart Suss, and Kingsborough Community College Vice President William Keller.
"We can never invest too much in our higher education system, and the allocation of this $71 million in CUNY capital funding is terrific news,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “The fact that it begins with Long Island City's LaGuardia Community College is icing on the cake for western Queens. Not only will this money allow students to continue their education in more suitable facilities but it will also add to LaGuardia's prominence in our community.”
“The City Council’s millions in allocation to CUNY is an investment in which this city will reap the rewards for generations to come,” said Council Member Robert Jackson, Chair of the Education Committee. “This funding will provide a necessary uplift to CUNY’s infrastructure and ensure that the students attending our cities’ institutions get a first rate education in a first class setting.”
“By investing in CUNY’s infrastructure we are actively planting the seeds that are necessary in order to expand educational opportunities that millions of New York City residents will benefit from in the future,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “I am proud to have fought hard alongside my colleagues toward securing these vital infrastructure funds which will literally change how we see and utilize the CUNY system for years to come.”
LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.