PHOTO: Katz delivered the keynote address at the LaGuardia Community College commencement ceremony just days before announcing an allocation of $3.64 million to fund projects at four CUNY public institutions of higher learning in Queens, including $1 million toward the construction of LaGuardia’s Center for Career and Employment Training. Courtesy of Kristian Larrota
By Forum Staff
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has allocated $3.64 million of her Fiscal Year 2017 discretionary money to fund capital projects at four of the City University of New York public institutions of higher learning in the World’s Borough: Queens College in Flushing, York College in Jamaica, Queensborough Community College in Bayside, and LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.
This year’s $3.64 million allocation, Katz noted, comes on top of the $8.75 million previously allocated by the Borough President’s Office between Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016 toward CUNY capital projects.
“As the third-largest university system in the United States, CUNY offers a high-quality and remarkably affordable and competitive higher education that enables the pursuit of the American Dream,” Katz said. “CUNY has been a critical door to opportunities for millions of New Yorkers and their families, and here in Queens we’re proud to be home to some of the best of CUNY schools. This multi-million dollar allocation of public funding is a direct investment into the public colleges of our borough so that CUNY remains able to meet the educational needs of its hard-working students.”
The allocation breaks down like this:
- $1 million to fully fund the construction of recording studios for the new Music and Production Certificate program at Queens College. The money will provide multi-use facilities for classrooms, rehearsal and performance spaces, and laboratories for performers, composers and teachers. Additionally, Katz said, the project will provide the proper acoustical components – sound absorbers, diffusers and ceiling elements – creating spaces conducive to live musical performances and high-quality audio recordings. The studios also will be ideally suited for distance learning applications and webcasting for music students as well as for the college community. Anticipated completion: January 2019.
- $1 million toward the construction of the Center for Career and Employment Training at LaGuardia Community College. The facility, Katz said, will serve as a central location for all LaGuardia students to connect to a network of employers and have access to real-time labor market data. The Center will also offer students advisement and training. The total projected cost of the facility is $6 million, with $2 million possibly coming from the City Council, and $3 million from the State Legislature. Design to begin July 2017, with construction set to start January 2018. Anticipated completion: August 2018.
- $1 million toward creating a modern kitchen and dining hall at Queensborough Community College that will replace the college’s current undersized basement dining hall. The allocation is toward the balance of City funding needed for Phase 2 based on current estimates, with $1 million possibly coming from Albany. Anticipated completion: March 2019.
- $640,000 toward renovating the greenhouse at York College.
“Queens Borough President Katz had provided critical and generous funding for CUNY projects that will enhance program quality, student experience and college value at Queens, York, LaGuardia and Queensborough Community colleges,” said CUNY Chancellor James Milliken. “I deeply appreciate her commitment to CUNY, which has such a positive impact on the borough and city.”