Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (11th Assembly District) and Farmingdale State President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter today announced a $21.7 million state investment that will allow the college to undertake a major expansion and improvement project. Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman Sweeney secured the funds as part of the 2006-07 state budget.
"Over the last five years, Farmingdale State has undergone a major transformation. With a student enrollment increase of over 20%, additional bachelor’s degree programs, the world class Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, and a host of new facilities, Farmingdale State is now one of the major institutions for higher learning on Long Island. This funding represents a major investment by New York State to ensure that Farmingdale State continues to grow and prosper," said Senator Fuschillo.
"These State dollars will improve the campus for years to come," said Assemblyman Sweeney. "The Student Center will provide an important focal point for student activity on the campus. The dental hygiene program has been at Farmingdale for over 60 years and is the only one of its kind on Long Island. It not only provides educational opportunities but also serves over 3,000 residents, many of them elderly and disabled. This funding will help ensure that graduates have the necessary skills, and also improve patient care," concluded Assemblyman Sweeney.
Farmingdale State President Dr. Gibralter said, "Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman Sweeney understand that both our students and the community will benefit from these capital improvements. We thank them for their continuing support of the campus."
$20 million has been designated to begin the process of designing a new Student Union. Preliminary proposals have suggested that a classroom building, Thompson Hall, be used as the foundation for the Student Union. The entrance to Thompson Hall contains an historical mosaic and was originally the Administration building. Built in 1938, Thompson Hall was named after Senator George Thompson. Senator Thompson introduced the Harte-Thompson bill, which was founded on the Lupton Bill, into the State Legislature. This bill, passed near the end of the session in 1912, "provided for a State School of Agriculture on Long Island, and appropriated $50,000 for such school." (archival document, "Historical Sketch of the New York State Institute of Agriculture at Farmingdale, N. Y.").
Farmingdale State students have never had a true Student Union. The new Student Union will be a hub on campus where free academic lectures and concerts will be held for both students and members of the community. In addition to lecture rooms and a concert hall, the new student union is also expected to contain a bookstore, recreational facilities, and a cafeteria.
The Dental Hygiene Care Center, built in 1984, has received $1.7 million to renovate the clinical facilities. This renovation, scheduled for summer 2007, is necessary to meet OSHA standards and to integrate new dental technology. Established in 1946, the program each year graduates approximately 45 students who are eligible to take their national Boards and clinical exams to become Registered Dental Hygienists. As part of the program, the students must complete clinical coursework through the Dental Hygiene Care Center. Upper-level students, working under the supervision of their clinical professors, provide comprehensive dental hygiene to over 3,000 community residents each year. In addition, the department is working with the Nassau County Head Start program to teach preschool children how to properly brush their teeth.
The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by student leaders and members of the campus community.
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