NEWBURGH – The momentum of SUNY Orange’s Innovation Grand Street project continues to build as Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. pledged yet another influx of critical local funding by committing a $200,000 economic development grant through its Building Revitalization program.
The Central Hudson pledge continues the company’s long-standing commitment to offer substantial incentives to local businesses and organizations for projects that enhance employment, economic development and community revitalization. The company’s grant will support infrastructure improvements or construction related to the Innovation Grand Street initiative in the City of Newburgh.
“Central Hudson is pleased to partner with SUNY Orange on this important project that will bring workforce development training to the College’s City of Newburgh campus,” says Anthony Campagiorni, vice president of customer services and regulatory affairs. “We support the College’s efforts and applaud this initiative to train students for entry into the job market of today. In addition to providing a vital educational resource, the redevelopment of these buildings provides an economic catalyst in this key location.”
“We have believed from the outset that a transformational project like Innovation Grand Street would be driven by support from the private sector through partnerships, financial and otherwise, that can both jump start our work and sustain us once we’re under way,” explains Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president. “Central Hudson recognizes the potential of Innovation Grand Street, and shares our energy and passion for this project. We are grateful for the company’s commitment to workforce development, community rejuvenation and higher education.”
County Executive Steve Neuhaus adds, “This additional funding can help develop the project envisioned by the County and College when we bought the properties. I was pleased to support the application which secured $1.8 million in state funding already, appreciate Central Hudson’s support today, and look forward to making this project a success for both the City of Newburgh, SUNY Orange and, most importantly, the people and taxpayers of Orange County.”
Over the past month, the College has secured $2.23 million in dedicated funds toward the project’s Phase I budget of $9.16 million. That total includes the Central Hudson grant, along with $1.83 million in Empire State Development Corporation funds and a $200,000 State and Municipal Facilities Program grant acquired by recently retired State Senator William J. Larkin Jr.
Set to be completed in two phases, Phase I of Innovation Grand Street calls for renovations to the Masonic Lodge (48 Grand St.) and the American Legion building (62 Grand St.). The YMCA building (54 Grand St.), located between the Masonic Lodge and American Legion facilities, would be upgraded as part of Phase II.
Innovation Grand Street will focus upon four industry sectors and is intended to spark private investment and entrepreneurial activity in the City, create meaningful employment opportunities for local residents, rejuvenate the greater Newburgh community and connect the College’s curriculum to real-world experiences for students.
At the core of the project is the renovation of three historic and iconic buildings adjacent to the College’s Newburgh campus that, when refurbished, will allow for small business creation, spark economic development, and blend short-term workforce training with complementary academic opportunities.
Once restored, the buildings will provide space for training and programming that supports specific needs for an educated workforce, while at the same time providing guidance on how to effectively create a small business, within the four targeted industry clusters: entrepreneurship, innovation and business; food, beverage and entertainment; healthcare and wellness; and creative design and historic preservation.
SUNY Orange and the SUNY Orange Foundation will continue working to secure additional state and federal grants, in addition to pursuing private-sector support, for the Innovation Grand Street initiative.