LI schools snag $12.6M in state facilities funds

Revving up the Harley: The renovation of Adelphi University's Ruth S. Harley University Center has been boosted by a $5 million state grant.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Seven-figure stipends are flowing to private colleges and universities across Long Island as part of a hefty package of state grants supporting statewide campus-infrastructure projects.

All told, Albany has announced more than $67.1 million in grants for capital projects at 39 institutions of higher learning through the latest round of the state’s Higher Education Facilities Capital Matching Grant Program. Each of the awards was greenlighted by the HECap Board, which provides matching grants to private, not-for-profit colleges and universities for “projects that create construction jobs and drive investment in communities,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Included in the latest round of HECap awards is a $5 million grant for Garden City-based Adelphi University, earmarked for the renovation of the Ruth S. Harley University Center; a $3.12 million award backing multiple Touro College projects, including the creation of a new Central Islip campus for the college’s Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; and a $3 million award for Hofstra University, which is upgrading its C.V. Starr Hall.

Also earning HECap funds this round were Phase 1 of the new Molloy Science Center at Rockville Centre-based Molloy College ($1.02 million) and a project to create a new Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory at Brookville-based Long Island University ($500,000).

Adelphi University was one of six statewide schools earning $5 million awards, the highest individual-award amount granted this round. Other top grant-earners include Manhattan-based Columbia University, for an expansion of its Central Energy Plan; Buffalo’s D’Youville College, which is constructing a multipurpose college/community facility; and Iona College in New Rochelle, which is renovating and expanding its School of Business.

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Top $5 million matching grants were also awarded to New York City-based New York University, which is renovating its Rogers Hall, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, which is building a Global Cybersecurity Institute.

This round’s smallest award went to St. Thomas Aquinas College in the Rockland County hamlet of Sparkill: $89,189 for the “purchase of scientific exercise equipment,” according to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which administers the HECap program.

Large or small, each of the grants allows the awarded institutions to “make critical investments that benefit students, support economic and community growth and help shape the next generation of leaders in the Empire State,” according to Cuomo.

“New York is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the world,” the governor said in a statement. “By investing in cutting-edge education and research, they will continue to fuel our workforce.”

Schools receiving HECap awards are required to invest at least $3 of their own funds for every $1 the state grants. They’re also required to pay construction workers and other contractors prevailing wages on all projects partially funded through the HECap.

The three-member HECap Board – State Budget Director and City University of New York Trustee Robert Mujica, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) and attorney Lisa Kombrink, a partner at Riverhead-based Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo – chose the grant recipients through a competitive application process.

“New York has always invested in the success of our students, from state-of-the-art classrooms and enhanced pre-K programs to the launch of the Excelsior Scholarship Program,” Glick noted. “This latest investment in New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities will ensure they remain the world-class institutions they are now.”