SUNY ORANGE HOSTS STEEL TOPPING CEREMONY FOR SCIENCE CENTER
Staff, Faculty, Students and Friends of SUNY Orange Were Joined by Local Dignitaries in “Beam Signing” Event
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Nearly 100 SUNY Orange students and employees, along with local elected officials and friends of the College, participated in a ceremonial Steel Topping event Wednesday morning to commemorate the final steel beams being affixed to the new Center for Science and Engineering that is presently under construction on the Middletown campus.
Attendees were invited to sign their names to the final steel beam, which was ultimately raised to the fourth floor of the structure and bolted into place as the crowd looked on from below. Steel topping ceremonies herald a milestone in the construction process as work switches from erecting the steel beams to enclosing the building.
“We are going to be proud of this building for many, many years to come,” said Joan Wolfe, chair of the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees, during a brief formal ceremony held in the Gilman Center following the beam signing. “This new building will help us meet the demands of our students today and into the future, so they will be even better prepared when they graduate.”
Wolfe described an extensive list of capital projects undertaken by the College in the past decade--including the expanded Newburgh campus with the Tower Building and Kaplan Hall, the Morrison Lab School, Devitt Center for Botany and Horticulture, new parking garage and the Center for Science and Engineering--and credited SUNY Orange President Dr. William Richards with making his vision for the College’s future become a reality.
“One thing we can all agree upon in Orange County is the importance of SUNY Orange. There is no better place in this county to put our money,” added Rich Rowley, chair of the SUNY Orange Foundation Board of Directors. Wolfe and Rowley were among a small group of speakers that also included Ed Diana, Orange County executive; Michael Pillmeier, chair of the Orange County Legislature; Dr. Frank Traeger, chair of the College’s biology department; and biology student Christina Cassano, of Goshen.
Cassano, who plans on becoming a veterinarian, discussed the impact the new science center will have on recruiting future students. “I can foresee the same wonder and excitement for future students when they see the labs and classrooms in this building that I had when I saw the current labs and classrooms. This building will be a gift, a great place to learn, and a place where teachers can share their passion about science, and encourage students to develop their passion for science.”
“We are educating the future leaders of this country, and they are in this room today and will be in these new classrooms,” added Diana, a 1968 graduate of SUNY Orange. “This is a great day for Orange County and for the College. We did this together. This is the result of a lot of people coming together to get this done.”
Construction on the Center for Science and Engineering is expected to be completed in Summer 2014 with the first classes in the building to be offered during the Fall 2014 semester. The new four-story, 100,000-square-foot building is being built on the site of the former Sarah Wells Building and will provide a fitting home for the College’s science, biology, engineering and architecture programs, allowing students and faculty alike to thrive within a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment. The building will house general classrooms, a variety of science laboratories, computer and study labs, faculty offices, larger configurable lecture/meeting spaces, and the Sarah Wells Cafe.