SUNY gets $1.4M for new look


By Patsy Nicosia

With the help of a $1.4 million grant, SUNY Cobleskill’s ‘front door’ will be getting a new look.
The grant, awarded through Governor David Paterson’s office as part of the federal Transportation Enhancement Program and American Recovery and Investment Act, will be used for a planted median, Victorian-style landscaping, a bike lane, and sidewalks, all on the Route 7 side of campus, according to Phil Arnold, director of facilities management there.
Mr. Arnold said with many of the college’s 2,600 students’ computers, one of the project’s main goals is safety.
Stamped concrete or pavers will likely be used to let motorists know they’re approaching the crosswalks, he said, while the median, improved lighting and banners will serve to mark the corridor as part of the campus.
The new sidewalks and bike lane will make access to the village easier for students, Mr. Arnold pointed out, something that will benefit businesses downtown.
“It’s all very exciting,” he said.
SUNY Cobleskill first began exploring funding for the project in January 2008.
Originally, the Transportation Enhancement Program required a 20 percent local grant, Mr. Arnold said.
But with the inclusion of the Recovery and Investment monies, it will be 100 percent grant-funded.
Mr. Arnold said he’s waiting on a letter telling him to go ahead and hire a consultant for the design process; construction is expected to begin next spring and must be completed by March 2012.
Not included in this phase of the project is a round-about the college would like to see near the Hess station, also on Route 7.
“That’s something we’d still like to see happen,” Mr. Arnold said. “It’s one more piece of what we’re trying to do here.”
Other ongoing on-campus facilities work includes the rehabilitation of Frisbee Hall, the college’s oldest building, as well as roofs on Ryder and Prentice Halls and on the swimming pool building.
Construction is also expected to begin soon on the college’s bioenergy research facility.