By STEPHEN BARTLETT
PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State broke ground Friday on its first new building in 35 years.
The $37 million Hudson Hall renovation project will create an Earth-friendly, state-of-the-art teaching and research facility.
"This enhances the sciences at SUNY Plattsburgh," university President Dr. John Ettling said at the groundbreaking, which was moved inside Hawkins Hall because of rain. "That is what this new building is about."
The construction is scheduled for completion in spring 2011.
ENVIRONMENT IN MIND
The project will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standards, with Phase 1 resulting in an addition to Hudson Hall.
Phase 2 will include renovations to the existing Hudson Hall.
The State University of New York's five-year capital budget funded the project, which will result in expanded opportunities for students, especially in the sciences.
The addition will include 27,000 square feet of new laboratories with super-efficient hood and ventilation systems.
The new system could cut energy costs by a third and represents a significant change in the learning environment by allowing faculty more flexibility in teaching. It will also more effectively facilitate student experiments.
"Students will be educated in a facility that will be comparable to what they will find in a career in the sciences," said Dr. Tim Mihuc, director of the Lake Champlain Research Institute.
The building itself will be used as a teaching tool with displays that educate students about green practices.
"This new state-of-the-art teaching and research addition will allow us to continue the tradition that was started decades ago by science faculty whose names, like Hudson, now appear on the buildings around campus," Dr. Ed Miller, chair of the Chemistry Department, said in a press release.
"I am truly excited about the new possibilities that will be opened to the faculty and students."
Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) echoed Miller's comments, saying the building will "add to what we as Americans have to be if we are to continue to be leaders in this world."
Plattsburgh City Mayor Donald Kasprzak, who was on hand for the ground-breaking, stressed that the addition will not only benefit students but also the city.
"This is going to be very special to everybody."
And it could be a turning point for the university, pointed out SUNY Chancellor Dr. Nancy Zimpher, who attended the event as part of her 64-campus tour of the SUNY system.
"This anchors SUNY Plattsburgh in the work it does best, which is the education of young people. This is the beginning."
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