BRONX, N.Y. — Lehman College celebrated the topping-off of its new $70 million science building with a ceremony on Oct. 28 attended by New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, members of the Council’s Bronx delegation, and Lehman and CUNY officials.
The 69,000 sq. ft. building, scheduled for completion in 2012, represents the first phase of a three-phase project that will create “a campus within the campus” dedicated to the sciences. With such “green” features as solar heating technology, rooftop rainwater collection and an artificial wetland incorporating native vegetation for wastewater treatment, the facility is aiming to be the first in CUNY to win a LEED® gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Funding for the structure is being provided through the New York State Dormitory Authority. The City Council secured funding for a rooftop greenhouse, which will expand the College’s teaching and research in the plant sciences. Lehman houses CUNY’s plant science doctoral program and is affiliated with the New York Botanical Garden.
Attending the ceremony, held adjacent to the steel superstructure, were City Council Speaker Quinn, Majority Leader Joel Rivera, and members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and James Vacca. Councilman G. Oliver Koppell was represented by George Díaz of his staff.
“I’m so excited that the Council played a pivotal part in making this project happen,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn in her remarks. “By funding $1.5 million toward the first phase of this project, we’re ensuring that future generations will be learning great science curriculum in a great state-of-the-art green building.”
Added City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera, “There is never a cap to the level of education a person can achieve. The new Science Building at Lehman College will provide the necessary tools to further expand and challenge the minds of its future student body. The Greenhouse within the Science Building will be designed to be a ‘teaching tool’ allowing students the opportunity to become more competitive in their fields, raising the bar in plant science programs and research.”
Other features of the building include updated, versatile labs, classrooms and instrumentation to promote collaborative research and support a pipeline in the sciences all the way through to the doctorate, especially for groups traditionally underrepresented in these fields.
Lehman President Ricardo R. Fernández thanked Speaker Quinn and the City Council “for understanding the vital importance of the work we do and for being such ardent advocates for our students and our institution. Our new science facility will truly stand as a reflection of the excellent work taking place in the Bronx, and positively impact the regional community as well.”
Others who spoke at the ceremony included CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Allan H. Dobrin; Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Iris Weinshall; and Lehman Provost and Senior Vice President Mary Papazian. Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small also attended.
Provost Papazian thanked them for “championing this project since it was envisioned and shepherding it through the labyrinth of approvals and appropriations required to make it a reality.”
Media Contact: Marge Rice / 718-960-4992