Legislature's budget includes $25M for sciences at Oswego

chemistry projectThe 2006-07 state budget put forward by the State Legislature includes $25 million for renovations to SUNY Oswego’s science buildings, Snygg and Piez halls.

Sen. Jim Wright, a SUNY Oswego alumnus, secured the funding and announced it March 29. Gov. George Pataki has 10 business days after final budget voting to veto any spending that legislators have added to his proposal. [Update: April 12—Gov. Pataki vetoed more than $400 million in SUNY capital projects, including this one. The Legislature will reconvene April 24 to consider overriding this veto and others.]

The renovations made possible by the capital funding will provide the college with a first-class facility that will allow it to compete with any institution in the world, Wright said. The upgrades will be the first phase in what is anticipated to be a decade-long upgrade of the college’s facilities, he said.

“We are extremely grateful to Senator Wright for making science and math education a priority,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

Snygg Hall dates from 1968, and Piez Hall was finished in 1962. Neither building has undergone significant renovation or modification since their construction.

The math, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences and physics departments have been devising more interdisciplinary programs and planning for upgraded facilities for several years, since the Campus Concept Committee proposed a steering committee for building renovation in the sciences.

Since then, successful initiatives have included the Science Today lecture series, a degree program in biochemistry and creation of the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Center. Last month, Oswego’s proposal to add a new degree program in software engineering was announced within SUNY, and discussions are under way to propose programs in computer and electrical engineering.

Stanley said that the $25 million renovation of the science buildings will allow the college to attract more high-performing students and produce well-prepared graduates who can put their learning to work in businesses and industries in the region.

The funding will also mean numerous construction jobs for Oswego County residents, a news release from Wright’s office noted.

“Senator Wright’s vital support in this project as well as our Center for Entrepreneurs, Campus Center and other recent initiatives enables SUNY Oswego to be a strong partner in sustaining and advancing the economic health of our community,” Stanley said

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(Posted: Apr 05, 2006)