New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Queens Delegation, CUNY Vice Chancellor Bergtraum and CUNY Queensborough President Call Celebrate $73.3 Million For CUNY Capital Upgrades

Published: September 12, 2016

Today, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Council Queens Delegation, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Judy Bergtraum and CUNY Queensborough Community College President Dr. Diane Bova Call celebrated $50.7 million in capital funding for much-needed upgrades on CUNY campuses across the five boroughs. This comes in addition to $22.6 million in funding being granted through the state matching the Council’s FY2017 budget. The funding will support state-of-the-art technology upgrades, public space enhancements, science labs, art and media equipment, student service centers, and more to improve campuses for students around the city.

“CUNY is the backbone of higher education in New York City,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “With this $50.7 million investment, we are working to ensure that CUNY campuses across the city can create dynamic, modern learning environments where thousands of students can grow and achieve.”

The FY17 budget included $50.7 million to fund thirty-four CUNY capital projects, including:

  • $2.5 million for a Student Success Center at Bronx Community College

  • $2.5 million to build a hub for performing arts at Hunter College

  • $2.5 million to renovate science labs at the New York City College of Technology

  • $2 million to build a digital film center at Queens College

  • $3 million to construct a cafeteria space at Queensborough Community College

  • $420,000 for the media/culture/television studio system at the College of Staten Island

The City University of New York provides high-quality, accessible education for more than 274,357 degree seeking students and 260,000 adult and continuing education students at 24 campuses across New York City.

“As the third-largest university system in the United States, CUNY offers a high-quality and remarkably affordable and competitive higher education that enables the pursuit of the American Dream,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “CUNY has been a critical door to opportunities for millions of New Yorkers and their families, and here in Queens we’re proud to be home to some of the best of CUNY schools. This multi-million dollar allocation of public funding is a direct investment into the public colleges of our borough so that CUNY remains able to meet the educational needs of its hard-working students.”

Science Atrium press conference with NYC Councilmembers and QCC students

“I wish to express my deep appreciation to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, The New York City Council and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz for their strong capital commitment to CUNY and our mission to provide access to high-quality education for the people of our city,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken.

"As a proud CUNY alumnus, I am happy to support this $50.7 million investment which will help preserve its status as one of New York's premier educational institutions for generations to come," said Education Committee Chair Daniel Dromm. "For the thousands of CUNY students who will someday lead our nation, these dollars will help ensure that they have access to the latest equipment and modern facilities. I will continue to work alongside Speaker Mark-Viverito and my colleagues in the Queens Delegation to support CUNY and its mission."

“New York City is a world leader, and it’s so important our city schools and universities can prepare students to thrive in that environment,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “CUNY provides equal opportunity to all students for an affordable education, and as a City we have a responsibility to invest and reinvest in its infrastructure, so it can provide the highest level of education in all its programs. Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my Council colleagues for their continued commitment to giving our students all of the resources they need for a successful future.”

“CUNY’s 24 campuses have provided generations of New Yorkers with opportunities to work towards their dreams,” said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “I’m proud to join Speaker Mark-Viverito and my colleagues on the City Council to announce $50.7 million for capital upgrades at CUNY—including $2.8 million for LaGuardia Community College—will ensure that CUNY can continue to provide a world class education for our city’s next generation.”

“For many New Yorkers, a CUNY education is a bridge into the middle class,” said Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. “Its low-cost, high-quality programs are invaluable to this city, and I am proud to stand alongside my Council colleagues to support CUNY with this $50.7 million investment.”

"The $50 million investment that our Council has made in CUNY will bring long-lasting benefits to all students and faculty,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides. “I am proud that we have provided funding for a variety of capital projects including new science lab technologies and arts equipment. When our students have the resources they need to learn, our entire community benefits. Thank you to Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Karen Koslowitz for their vision on this important issue."

"Affording a higher education is becoming more and more challenging. The fifty million dollars in capital funding going to our City University of New York (CUNY) colleges will help modernize and update campuses across the City so that they can continue to provide a first-rate affordable education. I would like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Queens Delegation for investing in Queensborough Community College, which serves over fifteen thousand students,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik.

“The City College of New York, established in 1847, was created to give students from poor and working class families an opportunity to attend college. It was the first of many colleges that were to become the City University of New York (CUNY). We are fortunate, especially those of us who live in Queens, that the Queensborough Community College was added to the CUNY family in 1958. It pleases me to say that this year’s budget insures that the mission that was started in 1847, to provide quality college education to those who cannot afford private tuition, will continue. This fiscal support for CUNY and Queensborough in particular, is consistent with this Council’s and this Speaker’s progressive vision,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.

“Queensborough Community College not only provides quality education to Queens’ brightest men and women but is committed to offering an academic environment that gives our students the confidence to succeed,” said Council Member Paul Vallone. “With this $50.7 million allocation, we at the New York City Council stand with our students as we open the doors to a college education together. I applaud our Speaker and my colleagues in the Queens Delegation for ensuring CUNY is a top priority.”

“Providing Queensborough Community College and all of CUNY with capital upgrades is one of the most beneficial ways we can spend our tax dollars,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Improvements to technology, public space, science labs, art and media equipment and student service centers will allow our young minds to become more well-rounded adults with the capacity to succeed in a variety of workplaces. I am proud to support a budget that supports providing a better college education and I’d like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and all of my Council colleagues for their dedication to preparing our youth for a brighter future.”

“CUNY community colleges like Queensborough are crucial to New York City's higher education system because they give students of all backgrounds an opportunity to get a quality education that’s also affordable. Increasing funding to QCC and other community colleges was a huge priority for the City Council and this investment will benefit families throughout our city,” said Council Member Rory Lancman.

“Queensborough Community College provides top-notch education to college students around the city, and I’m happy I was able to join my colleagues in the City Council to contribute funding for important capital infrastructure projects. Many thanks to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her outstanding work to ensure our institutions of higher learning are prioritized in our city budget,” said Council Member Peter Koo.

“CUNY continues to be the gold standard among public institutions of higher learning in this country," said Council Member Ruben Wills. "Men and women from cities the world over enroll at its schools to pursue their postsecondary education, often beginning at the community college level. The University’s continued success is central to the future economic growth of our City and Southeast Queens, alike. Two year and four year schools like Queensborough and York College depend on consistent investments to ensure the expansion of their existing programs, and the innovation of others. The Council is proud of its relationship with CUNY, and demonstrates its appreciation once again with this near $51 million allocation towards its capital projects.”

“For generations, Queensborough Community College has served the residents of Queens County by giving them the tools and knowledge they need to succeed” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, they have worked with over 300 students from Southeast Queens, providing them the opportunity to earn high school and college credit while they are still in high school. They also have great Science, Math, and Technology programs, where graduates will be able to gain employment in industries for the 21st Century. I have been proud to work with the Queens Delegation to support their efforts to educate the public about Human Rights Justice and Genocide, and provide seniors with great entertainment options. I would like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, my colleagues of the Queens Delegation, and Queensborough Community College for continuing to be a pillar in Queens.”


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