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Governor Patrick announces funding for MCLA Center for Science and Innovation

10/07/2009

NORTH ADAMS, MA-Governor Patrick unveiled the Administration's five-year capital investment plan October 7, calling for significant investment in higher education, including construction of the Center for Science and Innovation at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

"These investments, along with many others in regions across the state, will put people back to work and keep Massachusetts on the road to economic recovery," said Governor Patrick in a press release. "The affordable, targeted projects included in this capital plan will help address our short-term challenges and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth."

"Even during these difficult fiscal times, we are committed to making smart investments for the long-term that will help spur the Commonwealth's economic recovery," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray. "The projects contained in the capital plan will help improve the state's infrastructure in communities across the Commonwealth and at the same time create jobs for our residents."

The Governor's capital plan commits more than $50 million for a new science building at MCLA, including $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2010 to initiate the study phase.

The project will modernize existing academic facilities and upgrade and unify the science facilities. The 40,000-square-foot facility will serve as the single location for all of MCLA's science and math programs, and will house laboratory space, classrooms, offices, a resource library, and conference and meeting rooms.

"On behalf of everyone at MCLA, I offer thanks to Governor Patrick and his team in the administration," said MCLA President Mary K. Grant. "The Governor has been unwavering in his enthusiasm and support for this important project and the role that the Center for Science and Innovation will play in the future of MCLA, Berkshire County, and the Commonwealth. Thanks also to the members of our legislative delegation, in particular Representative Bosley, who has been a strong advocate every step of the way to make the MCLA Center for Science and Innovation a reality.

"Senator Downing and I  have been advocating for a state of the art life science building at MCLA for quite some time and need to thank Governor Patrick for his continued support and President Mary Grant and her staff for their tireless efforts," said Representative Daniel E. Bosley. "These initial funds will be used for a feasibility study to determine the best options for size, siting and function to present to the college and the community for input. A science and innovation center will continue the existing STEM learning pipeline and translate into high-paying jobs for Berkshire County."

"Authorizing funds for the MCLA Center for Science and Innovation reaffirms the central role higher education plays in the economic vitality of the Berkshires and the great region and shows the Patrick Administration fully appreciates this fact. The Center will serve as an educational facility, training the workforce of today and tomorrow, in high-growth fields, solving our most pressing problems.  MCLA's Science Center will serve as the hub of development for new partnerships between business and academia, while helping to meet the challenges laid out in the Berkshire Compact for Higher Education," said Senator Benjamin B. Downing.