SUNY New Paltz celebrated the opening of its new Engineering Innovation Hub which will also host the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center. The modern, two-story, 19,500 square-foot academic building will support and diversify New Paltz’s rapidly growing engineering programs, and foster collaboration between the College and local industry and create opportunities for students and faculty. The building was made possible by a $10 million NYSUNY2020 grant, awarded by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014.
“Today’s opening of the Engineering Innovation Hub at SUNY New Paltz is another great example of the growth of our high-tech sector in the Mid-Hudson Valley that will result in jobs and economic expansions throughout the region,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “We will continue to partner with higher education institutions and industry leaders to bring these types of visions into reality to inspire New York’s newest generation of innovators.”
A new home for AM on the Hudson
As mentioned earlier, the Engineering Innovation Hub will serve as the new home of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) at SUNY New Paltz, home of the College’s 3D design and printing program. The facility will also house the popular bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering, placing it at the center of the New Paltz’s ongoing effort to prepare students for success in rewarding, forward-looking careers.
“The Engineering Innovation Hub houses industry-leading equipment to support our students and faculty as well as the work of companies partnering with the College through 3D design and printing,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “This investment is projected to yield a regional economic impact of more than $75 million, and about 195 jobs, over ten years. On behalf of the College, I extend our deepest thanks to the Governor and his team for recognizing the value of this project.”
New Paltz welcomed several distinguished guests for the ceremonial opening, including SUNY Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Tod A. Laursen. The NYSUNY 2020 grant program that funded construction supports plans to improve economic development across New York. The project builds on a legacy of engineering programs at SUNY New Paltz that began in 1984 when Governor Mario Cuomo supported the creation of an undergraduate engineering program at the college.
“In 1977, the science part of the campus was in some of the oldest buildings, and it was not really a focus,” said Kevin A. Cahill, New York State assemblymember of the 103rd District and a SUNY New Paltz alumnus. “This is a focus. This new facility is a demonstration of an understanding of where we are in the 21st century, and where we have to go to attract, educate, engage, enlighten and inspire the next generation of people who are going to make our world a better place.”
A true PPP project
The College was also awarded $1 million through the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual Consolidated Funding Application for 3D equipment, which supports the HVAMC and its work with the campus and regional business and industry.
A number of HVAMC partner companies and individuals contributed to this project via private support through the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. Founding supporters include Stratasys, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, the Dyson Foundation and Hudson River Ventures.
“What we have built over the last eight years has provided opportunities to many students, supported economic growth in the region and is truly innovative,” said Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science & Engineering and director of the HVAMC. “There is a poster we all signed when we first formed our collaboration. We have accomplished a lot, but what I wrote on that poster, I still feel is true today: We’re just getting started.”
The Engineering Innovation Hub’s interior spaces include multiple teaching labs, a computer lab, conference rooms, faculty offices, open collaborative spaces and lounge areas equipped with comfortable furniture and device charging stations.
The main lobby is wrapped in a glass storefront that allows substantial natural light into the area, and a cubic form perched over the entrance plaza creates a distinctive profile for the building and opens to views overlooking Old Main Quad.
“The State University of New York at New Paltz is continually evolving to remain competitive in offering high-quality liberal arts and STEM education that prepares students for their future,” said New York State Senator of the 42nd District Jen Metzger, in a proclamation issued on the day of the ribbon-cutting. “The Engineering Innovation Hub is a new facility that will be key to its goal of equipping students with the skills to be effective and collaborative contributors in the regional, state and global community.”
New York-based Urbahn Architects designed the Engineering Innovation Hub to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver sustainability certification requirements. Construction was led by general contractor PC Construction of Poughkeepsie, New York. The project had about 30 subconsultants and subcontractors, and generated more than 130 construction jobs, roughly 85% of which came from New York.