Funds will be used for facilities upgrades, workforce development and enhanced research in renewable energy
July 31, 2014 — In a major development that will greatly expand Bronx Community College’s commitment to the economic vibrancy of the borough it calls home, BCC has been approved for a $9 million CUNY 2020 challenge grant. These funds will dramatically increase BCC’s research and training in environmentally friendly energy and technology by upgrading three existing facilities on the historic University Heights campus.
Patterson Garage will be expanded as a training facility for BCC’s successful Automotive Technology program — the only one of its kind in The City University of New York. This will double the number of Auto Tech students who will be prepared for the maintenance and service challenges of clean diesel and hybrid vehicles. Renovations will include a four-bay training garage, a smart classroom and an automotive faculty office.
The Center for Sustainable Energy will get a state-of-the-art laboratory for biofuels, green chemistry and sustainable product development. The lab will also serve as a third-party testing facility for local industry partners such as Tri-State Biodiesel, research and development projects with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and entrepreneurs participating in START-UP NY, the state-wide program to attract hi-tech businesses with ten years of tax breaks.
An upgraded Butler Hall will serve as an instructional and hands-on training space for high school students interested in STEM careers. Renovations to the first floor will include two fully accessible smart classrooms, office space and a mechanical room.
In addition, the Shimadzu Corporation has awarded the college a $400,000 matching grant that will be used to purchase analytical instrumentation, such as mass spectrometers. This equipment will be integral to student training and the Sustainable Fuel and Product Development Lab.
Ultimately, Bronx Community College will become a hub for Advanced Vehicle Technology and Sustainable Fuel and Product Development — and all of the borough will benefit. It is expected that 62 temporary and 2,011 permanent jobs will be created over the next seven years with an estimated $99 million pumped into the local economy — an 11-to-1 return on the investment.
With this grant, Bronx Community College will provide education and careers for the current generation and a safe environment for the generations to come.