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Gov. Pataki announces selection of site for the headquarters of the New York Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems
Gov. Pataki announces selection of site for the headquarters of the New York Center of Excellence in Environmental SystemsJanuary 07, 2004Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
The headquarters for the New York Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems (CoE-ES) will be constructed on the site of the former Midtown Plaza building in downtown Syracuse, Gov. George E. Pataki announced during the State of the State address on Jan. 7.
The CoE-ES headquarters will feature laboratories for creating new technologies that improve environmental quality and energy efficiency in buildings and urban communities. In addition, the building will house the administrative offices of the CoE-ES and the New York Indoor Environmental Quality (NYIEQ) Center Inc.
“We warmly applaud Gov. Pataki for his vision and commitment to the Center of Excellence in Syracuse and the other Centers across the state,” says Kenneth A. Shaw, chancellor and president of Syracuse University, which leads the CoE-ES. “The announcement today is an important step forward in regional efforts to create jobs and prosperity for many years to come.”
The CoE-ES includes collaborative research, development, education and economic development programs that currently involve 12 academic and research institutions and 19 firms and organizations, including the NYIEQ Center and the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA) of Syracuse and Central New York.
To date, the CoE-ES has secured awards and commitments totaling more than $40 million from New York State and nearly $11 million from federal sources. Ongoing projects include developments of systems that improve human health and performance in “built” environments, such as homes, schools and workplaces; technologies that monitor and control the quality of air and water in urban settings; and innovative energy systems that reduce operating costs and environmental impact.
“Thanks to investments by the state and federal funding arranged by Congressman James T. Walsh, the CoE-ES currently has under way a broad program of research and development in the laboratories and offices of our member institutions and firms,” says Edward A. Bogucz, CoE-ES executive director. “Our headquarters will showcase the innovations created at our distributed locations, help to create new collaborations among our partners, and attract additional firms.”
“I am pleased the Governor has announced the selection of a location for thepermanent site for the Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems,” saysRep. James Walsh. “The federal government has been a strong financial supporter of the initiative–providing close to $11 million to date. This news from Albany today progresses the effort and demonstrates the state’s additional investment in this regional effort to boost our technology base.”
“Today’s announcement is great news to start the new year,” says Irwin L. Davis, president and CEO of the MDA. The MDA’s Vision 2010 regional economic strategy for growth laid the groundwork for the creation of the NYIEQ Center and the Center of Excellence. “The Center of Excellence will stand as a highly visible symbol of Central New York’s stature as a world leader in environmental research and technology. The new Center also will provide a welcome new gateway to downtown and University Hill,” Davis says.
The planning process for the CoE-ES headquarters will begin immediately, leveraging preliminary efforts that began in 2001. The CoE-ES will hold a charrette in the spring to solicit ideas from its partner firms, state and federal agencies, and international leaders in the design of high-performance buildings. Results of the charrette will be used to finalize the program and form the basis for the design of the building.
“Our vision for the headquarters is that the entire building itself will be an experimental apparatus that our researchers and corporate partners will use to evaluate and demonstrate new technologies for environmental control and energy generation,” says Bogucz. “The building also will include one-of-a-kind laboratories that will earn recognition worldwide for their unique capabilities. The design and construction process will move ahead as quickly as possible while maintaining our focus on innovation and performance of the overall building.”
Within the CoE-ES, the NYIEQ Center leads efforts to transfer new technologies from the research laboratory to the marketplace. The NYIEQ Center’s Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) fuels technology transfer and early-stage product development strategies. NYIEQ Center offices will be relocated to the CoE-ES headquarters.
“Funding arranged by New York State Assemblyman William Magnarelli supports CAP projects currently under way that are expected to create 350 new jobs in the region,” says John J. Vasselli, NYIEQ Center executive vice president. “The new CoE-ES headquarters will include facilities to strengthen and expand this critical element of the NYIEQ Center’s overall programs.”
“I commend the Governor for this announcement, which will allow for the continued collaboration of our universities and private industries in Central New York on environmental systems and technologies,” says Assemblyman Magnarelli.
The CoE-ES headquarters will be located on a 2.4-acre site at the southeast corner of Almond and East Water streets in downtown Syracuse. Previously, the site had been the location of Midtown Plaza, an eight-story building constructed in the early 1900s as a typewriter factory for the L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Co. (later Smith-Corona). Subsequently, Midtown Plaza served as a commercial property until 1981. The Midtown Plaza building was demolished in 1999 as one of the first projects to receive funding under the State’s Environmental Restoration (Brownfields) program.
“What a wonderful way to demonstrate new environmental technology bylocating the building on a brownfield in the heart of Syracuse,” says Sen. Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, whose Senate district office overlooks the site.
“Today’s announcement by Gov. Pataki that the Center of Excellence willbe located in the Midtown Plaza in downtown Syracuse is great news for thecity,” says Sen. John A. DeFrancisco. “Projects such as this are vitalto the economic health of our city’s business community. This Center willfoster creative entrepreneurial relationships with institutions such asSyracuse University, and it will produce the types of high-tech and well-paying jobs that are needed to boost and sustain our Central New Yorkeconomy. I am particularly happy that the site selected is in downtownSyracuse, the site which I long advocated for. It demonstrates a commitment to the revitalization of downtown.”
“This site for the Center of Excellence ensures that the economic impact from this impressive project will be felt throughout the entire city,” says Assemblywoman Joan Christensen. “We are lucky to have a Center of Excellence, and the new building will showcase all that Syracuse University has to offer in high-tech research, while also helping to revitalize our downtown and stimulate our city’s economy.”
“This is a tremendous boost for the downtown area and can only aid the city in attracting further business and promoting economic development,” says Mayor Matthew Driscoll.
Funding for design and construction of the CoE-ES headquarters will be provided by the state via bonds issued for capital projects under the Centers of Excellence program, which currently includes Centers in Albany (in nanoelectronics), Rochester (in photonics and microsystems), Buffalo (in bioinformatics), and Stony Brook (in wireless Internet and information technologies). Gov. Pataki initiated the Centers of Excellence program in 2001. The CoE-ES was established in June 2002.
The CoE-ES includes the research and development efforts of the Environmental Quality Systems Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Center, which was established in May 2001 via $15.9 million in awards from the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR). Academic and research partners in the CoE-ES include Syracuse University, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Clarkson University, Cornell University, the University of Rochester, SUNY at Buffalo, SUNY Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Alfred University, the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the Upstate Freshwater Institute.
Participation in CoE-ES activities by businesses and industries is coordinated through the NYIEQ Center, which was established in July 2000 through the efforts of the MDA. Corporate patrons include Air Innovations; Blasland, Bouck & Lee; Bond, Schoeneck & King; C&S Companies; CDH Energy Corp.; Carrier Corp.; Colden Corp.; Exponential Business Development; Galson Laboratories; King & King Architects; Niagara Mohawk, A National Grid Company; O’Brien & Gere Engineers; OP-TECH Environmental Services; RobsonWoese; Rosenthal Chadwick; Sensis Corp.; and Syracuse Research Corp.