ualbany engineering college downtown campus rendering

UAlbany's plan for a new engineering college in the middle of Albany

ualbany engineering college rendering cropped

Here's a larger view of the rendering. / image via UAlbany

UAlbany has formally announced its intent to turn the convert a former Albany school building next to its downtown campus into the home for the new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The university is seeking $20 million in the state budget to get started on the project, which it says will ultimately cost $60 million.

The building is on the western end of UAlbany's downtown campus, between Western and Washington avenues at North Lake. UAlbany bought the building from the Albany school district a few years back. It had originally served as (the second version of) Albany High School, and then Philip Schuyler Elementary.

Press release blurbage:

All told, the $60 million project will create 127,000 square feet of classroom, research and office space with capacity for more than 1,000 students and 180 faculty and researchers. It will also create a dynamic new community resource, including a 1,000-seat auditorium, space for new collaborations with local schools and community organizations, including a "Summer Science Saturday" program, and other opportunities.

UAlbany president Robert Jones said the new engineering college is "at the center of our vision for UAlbany as we create the largest--and most strategic--academic expansion in fifty years." Two years ago Jones said UAlbany was starting the college in attempt to be more competitive in attracting students. (That also happened to be around the time the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering split to become its own institution, which is now SUNY Poly.)

If the project goes through, it'll be interesting to see how affects the surrounding area. UAlbany already has presence there, of course -- the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy and other programs are based there -- but the new college is a potentially significant addition of people and activity.

The press release included bits about the "comprehensive vision" for the engineering college, which include a maker space and improving the North Lake Ave-Ontario Street corridor. The full list is after the jump, if you're curious.

In all, the new CEAS is part of a comprehensive vision to:
+ Expand UAlbany's capacity to helping solve society's critical challenges such as clean water, renewable energy, medicine, cyber-security, climate change and more;
+ Strengthen the region's only public research university by broadening its offerings available to its diverse student body;
+ Provide students with broad and diverse offerings so they are best prepared to thrive in the ever-changing 21st Century economy;
+ Increase opportunities for cutting-edge research and other investments at the University and in the region;
+ Help local businesses through increased campus activity;
+ Expand and support the arts;
+ Create new partnerships and programs with local K-12 schools, Albany Medical Center, Hudson Valley + Community College, Albany Law School, Albany College of Pharmacy and others;
+ Create "maker space" where local entrepreneurs can meet and develop ideas for new products; and
+ Improve Albany's North Lake Ave-Ontario Street corridor with new mass transit and other improvements pending a comprehensive corridor study by the City and UAlbany.

Comments

And here comes Dr. Jackson to crush this idea in her own back yard in 3, 2, 1...

I would rather it gone on the tax rolls as condos, or apartments.
S.U.N.Y. has taken over so much valued land in this city, the business on Fuller Road suffered & some went under!
Roundabouts on Fuller are dangerous & a turn off to potential customers.

mg - Roundabouts come from city and county contracted road designers, not SUNY. Look at Malta to see how much worse things could be. And Washington-Fuller monster was mostly to accommodate state office campus traffic - just before most offices moved downtown.
As for businesses... Closing Fuller for half a year during construction was a big blow for many - but once again that wasn't SUNY.

Oh, UAlbany is only 40 years behind the times. Back in the 70s computing at UAlbany was an antique Sperry Rand Univac, where you were taught computing with punch cards. UAlbany at that time didn't take computer technology seriously.
You can't have a modern university without engineering and applied technology programs. It isn't just about attracting students, or giving students want they want, or jobs after graduation: engineering departments have the tendency to drag the pure science and business programs into the modern era. As an example: In the 70s and 80s UAlbany denied the computer revolution, while cranking out tons of business majors. But for those graduates, information technology was the biggest thing happening in business and industry.
I'm glad they're opening the Computer engineering school. It'll revitalize the old Milne School buildings.

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