Hudson Valley continues to search for over $10 million to start building the Gene Haas Technology Center by fall 2017.
Over $2 million have been secured for the advanced manufacturing program since September when the college received a $1 million grant for the project.
In October, the college submitted a $12 million grant request to the state in an effort to build the Gene Haas Technology Center if the Capital Region became one of three regions of the state to receive $500 million from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI). When applying for the URI, the Gene Haas Technology Center was projected to cost upwards of $14 million.
“If the Capital Region was one of the regions who won the Upstate Revitalization [Initiative], we would’ve got more money there, but we didn’t get it, so that’s out of the picture,” said President Drew Matonak. As a result of the Capital Region only receiving $98 million from the competition, the project secured $1 million.
According to Matonak, the project has secured “a couple hundred thousand dollars” in fundraising efforts. The college is currently seeking additional private grants to help fund the Gene Haas Technology Center.
Along with private grants, the college hopes to secure matching funds in the 2017-18 executive budget.
Forty new spaces in the advanced manufacturing program were originally expected to open up at Hudson Valley with the new facility. “We get phone calls frequently by local employers who are looking to hire our students or graduates, and quite often, there aren’t any [graduates] available because they already have jobs,” said James Hamilton, associate professor for Automotive, Manufacturing and Electrical Engineering Technologies.
The facility, along with equipment upgrades, were expected to nearly double the size of the program. Improvements to the facility date back to the 2009-2013 Hudson Valley Master Plan when Lang Hall, where the program is housed, was suggested to be replaced with a “New Lang Hall.”
“For the size of our class, there’s just not enough machines,” said Brian Rose, advanced manufacturing student. Extra space in the Gene Haas Technology Center would increase the number of computerized numerical control machines and manual control systems.
According to Rob Honsinger, advanced manufacturing student, the current advanced manufacturing lab space is difficult to work in. He said the space is divided between freshman and seniors. “They definitely need a larger space. It’s tight,” he said.