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Downtown center designs unveiled

Construction on the new Binghamton University Education and Community Development Center should begin in March, officials said Dec. 1 after unveiling designs for the $29 million project. Gov. George E. Pataki joined state Sen. Thomas W. Libous, Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur, Broome Community College President Laurence Spraggs and city Mayor Richard A. Bucci to discuss plans for the center, which should have 3,500 student visitors per week when it opens in fall 2007. “By putting this facility in the downtown area, we will help advance community revitalization efforts, and spark new investments and job creation,” Pataki said. “We are pleased to work with dedicated partners on this downtown project, which will serve as a magnet for growth in the greater Binghamton region for many years to come.”

The governor and others noted the additional downtown visitors should be a boon to restaurants and shops in the area. “Bringing BU and BCC two of our community’s strongest assets to downtown will be great for

This is the view of the Binghamton University Education and Community Development Center from Washington Street.
our economy because it means more people spending money at local businesses,” Libous said. DeFleur said the building will be a symbol of the future for the University and the city and a wonderful home for community outreach and academic endeavors. She noted that Holt Architects of Ithaca took a fresh approach while keeping the building true to the city’s character.

“The design is not only beautiful, it incorporates elements of historic Binghamton and elements of the future,” she said. The center will be between Stuart Street and Washington Street adjacent to the River Walk on the Chenango River. Its brick and limestone exterior includes a three story atrium that opens onto an exterior plaza and landscaped outdoor areas. There will be 130 parking spaces.

The facility will house three degree granting units: the Master’s in Public Administration program, Human Development and Social Work, as well as academic conferencing operations. BCC also expects to offer a number of regularly scheduled short courses in the build

Gov. George E. Pataki and other officials unveiled plans for the downtown facility on Dec. 1.
ing. The center will attract undergraduate and graduate students as well as people seeking professional development. The 74,400 square foot facility will also house an Internship Center to serve as a point of contact for organizations looking for interns and students seeking internship opportunities, a computer pod with full Internet capabilities to support research and educational activities, academic advising to assist current and potential students in their pursuit of a degree and a lounge for student group projects and interaction among center users.

“We are so very excited about this center,” DeFleur said. “The programs we are locating here will be enriched through connections to the downtown area and the downtown will benefit from a vibrant, bustling education center.”

The first bids for the project will go out Dec. 15. Proposals will be due Jan. 10, with awards in early February. Officials said that would put the schedule on track for a March construction start and completion in late fall or early summer in 2007.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08