COBLESKILL — A $45.5 million construction project is under way at SUNY Cobleskill to create a Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources on the college campus.
State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine; state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford; Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie; and former Congressman Michael McNulty were among those joining SUNY Cobleskill Officer-in-Charge Candace Vancko in a Sept. 27 ceremony that kicked off the construction project.
“As SUNY Cobleskill enters its second century, The Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources will epitomize the college’s commitment to serving the educational and workforce needs of New York State’s leading industry,” Vancko said in a media release. “It will provide our academic programs and our students with state-of-the art facilities.”
The 93,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in fall 2014, will provide specialized classrooms and laboratories for SUNY Cobleskill’s Animal and Plant Sciences and Fisheries and Wildlife Departments. It will include new cold and warm water fish hatcheries, greenhouses, meat processing and taxidermy laboratories and serve 14 baccalaureate and associate degree programs. Nearly one-third of SUNY Cobleskill’s student body is enrolled in those programs.
It also “symbolizes SUNY Cobleskill’s commitment to sustainability,” Vancko said. It will be built to LEED Silver standards and feature green roofs on the first floor that do not require irrigation, recycled and low-emitting materials from the region, a high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and water conservation systems.
Aubertine delivered a special message from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In a letter he read, Cuomo called the project “an important development in the future of SUNY Cobleskill” as well as a “critical boost for the local economy.”
The project is part of a transformation of the college’s north campus into a “thriving living and learning community,” according to Vancko. A 150-bed townhouse apartment complex, funded by the SUNY Cobleskill Alumni Association and operated by the college, is also scheduled to open in fall 2014. Also planned are new sidewalks and landscaping.