Garden City, NY On April 9, the New York State Legislature approved a total funding package of $28.5 million that translates into improvements in the fire alarms, windows, parking lots and roads, and emergency public address system at Nassau Community College. It will also bring the construction of a building for NCC's performing arts program, as well as the installation of energy saving related equipment a major step closer to reality.
"We are immensely grateful to our representatives in the Senate and Assembly, who worked strenuously and on a bi-partisan basis to obtain the funding for these projects," said Dr. Sean A. Fanelli, President of NCC. "The result of their efforts will be a campus where safety is enhanced, energy will be used more efficiently, and the educational opportunities of our students will be expanded."
The capital budget approved by the State Legislature includes $20.8 million for a performing arts center; $3 million for energy saving related equipment; $2.1 million for upgraded fire alarms that include a public address system component; $2 million for repair of parking lots and roads on campus; and $600,000 to replace energy inefficient and leaking windows. These amounts represent the State-matching share to fund these projects.
Many of the buildings at NCC were built almost seventy years ago, some of them as temporary structures. The construction of a new performing arts building would allow for the consolidation and improvement of facilities that are used by more than 4,000 music, dance, theatre and communications students each semester. "Our students have been able to accomplish so much, in spite of the limitations of the current performance space," said Dr. Fanelli, who noted that alumni of Nassau's theatre program include actor, director and writer Billy Crystal. "But this new building will allow them to further develop their skills, for their benefit as students and for the enjoyment of the members of the Long Island community who will be able to see the students' performances on campus," added Dr. Fanelli. He noted that it is now up to the College to seek funding from non-State sources to match the $20.8 million from the State.
This legislation will also address other important infrastructure needs on the campus. The condition of the parking lots on campus has long been a concern of students and staff alike, in terms of the potential for injuries and property damage. The $2 million included in this legislation is a major step in the direction of meeting those concerns. In addition, the improvements to the fire alarm system and public address system for emergencies will provide an extra level of security for NCC's students, and the energy related projects offer the prospect of reducing the energy costs of the College as well as improving the physical environment in which students can learn.
The capital budget as submitted to the State Legislature by then-Governor Spitzer included only $2.6 million in specific capital projects for NCC. Senator Charles Fuschillio, Jr. (R-Merrick) and Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) took the lead in the Senate and the Assembly in increasing that funding for specific capital projects for NCC to the $28.5 million included in the final bill.