By Lisa Kopochinski
NEW PALTZ, N.Y.—The new Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH) building at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz has been completed.
The two-story facility houses the College’s relatively new and highly popular bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering, and includes innovative teaching and research lab spaces, as well as the school’s Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC).
The new building was made possible by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY2020 Challenge Grant competition, in which SUNY New Paltz was awarded $10 million to support academic programs that translate directly into economic development in New York State. The College also received $1 million through the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual Consolidated Funding Application.
“[The] opening of the EIH at SUNY New Paltz is another great example of the growth of our high-tech sector in the Mid-Hudson Valley that will result in jobs and economic expansions throughout the region,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “We will continue to partner with higher education institutions and industry leaders to bring these types of visions into reality to inspire New York’s newest generation of innovators.”
Said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian, “The College extends its deepest thanks to Governor Cuomo and his team for recognizing the value of this project and its educational and economic benefits for the Hudson Valley region. This investment is projected to yield a regional economic impact of more than $75 million, and about 195 jobs, over 10 years.”
PC Construction, which has offices in Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and North Carolina was general contractor on this impressive project. Urbahn Architects, a full-service planning and design firm based in New York City, designed this project.
“The $13.5 million, 19,500-square foot EIH houses faculty research and teaching labs, and state-of-the-art 3D print prototyping labs to support the engineering program and the work of companies partnering with SUNY New Paltz and HVAMC,” said Urbahn Architects Principal-in-Charge Natale V. Barranco, AIA, LEED AP.
Designed to meet a LEED Silver sustainability certification, the new Hub will support and diversify the College’s rapidly growing engineering programs, and foster collaboration between the College and local industry.
“The site of the new building is centrally located on campus, which required strict construction safety and logistics protocols to ensure the welfare of workers, students, faculty, and visitors during construction,” said PC Construction Project Manager Michael Davies.
“Relying on our team’s expertise in LEED certification procedures and the Lean Construction method, we have delivered a highly sustainable and energy efficient facility where engineering students can excel for years to come.”
Daniel Freedman is dean of the School of Science & Engineering and director of the HVAMC, which will operate a laboratory and offices in the new building. The HVAMC has been providing education, guidance, CAD design, advice on materials used for additive manufacturing, and 3D printing services to SUNY New Paltz students and educators, as well as to entrepreneurs and businesses since 2013.
“The Engineering Innovation Hub will significantly aid SUNY New Paltz in educating engineering students who will provide technological leadership in the Hudson Valley,” said Freedman. “It will also assist the wide variety of regional companies that make use of our state-of-the-art 3D printing technology and expert staff.”
Its collection of 3D printers constitutes some of the most advanced technology at any academic laboratory in the U.S. The College is the first institution of higher education in the nation to be designated a Stratasys-MakerBot Additive Research & Teaching or SMART lab by Stratasys, the world’s leading 3D printing hardware and systems company.
The Hub will also house the College’s popular new program in mechanical engineering, which has seen rapid enrollment growth since launching in 2014 in response to the critical need for highly skilled engineers in the Mid-Hudson Valley region.
The building—located within SUNY New Paltz’s main campus—was erected on a former parking lot near the existing engineering building, Resnick Hall. Urbahn Architects designed the Hub to allow for a potential expansion to the east, if the program’s growth requires more space in the future.