GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CAPITAL INVESTMENTS FOR WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS COMMUNITIES
Among the projects funded in the Fiscal Year 2010-2014 plan are several throughout Western Massachusetts, including construction of a new Center for Science and Innovation at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, renovations at Berkshire Community College and renovation of the Greenfield Trial Court.
"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. "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."
"These projects represent sound investments and will have an enormously positive effect on the future of these communities," Senator Stan Rosenberg said. "I'm proud to stand with Governor Patrick in making this announcement."
MCLA Center for Science and Innovation
The Governor's capital plan commits more than $50 million for a new science building at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, including $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2010 to initiate the study phase.
This major project will address the renovation and expansion of Bowman Hall for a new Science and Innovation Center. It will modernize existing academic facilities and upgrade and unify the science facilities. The 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art 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 S.T.E.M. learning pipeline and translate into high paying jobs for Berkshire County."
"Authorizing funds for the MCLA Center for Science & Innovation reaffirms the central role higher education plays in the economic vitality of the Berkshires and the great region and shows the Patrick Administration full 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.
Berkshire Community College Exterior Masonry Repairs
The Governor's capital plan commits nearly $5 million to much needed exterior masonry repairs at Berkshire Community College, including $1.9 million in Fiscal Year 2010.
The plan funds remediation of PCB contaminated exterior caulking at the college.
"Swift completion of Berkshire Community College's exterior masonry repair project ensures campus buildings are energy efficient and will keep the school's energy costs low," said Senator Downing. "This funding authorized today by the Governor also ensures unexpected PCBs on site are properly remediated."
"As a member of the Higher Education Committee we're realizing that these capital investments have been desperately needed," said Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli. "This announcement today will be a tremendous boost for Berkshire Community College and further demonstrates our continued investment in Higher Education."
Greenfield Trial Court Renovation
The Governor's capital plan commits more than $50 million for renovation of the Greenfield Trial Court, including $100,000 in Fiscal Year 2010 to advance the project.
The Franklin County Courthouse project in Greenfield encompasses a partial demolition and renovation of the existing circa 1930's courthouse and the construction of significant addition, consolidating all court departments in one building. Upon completion, the building will provide facilities that meet current standards for the Superior, District, Probate and Family, Juvenile and Housing Courts, in addition to a Law Library and Registry of Deeds.
"After many years and many proposals, we are finally on our way to a new, safe and modern court facility in Greenfield," said Representative Christopher Donelan. "Time and again, the Governor has shown his commitment to this project. The community has reached consensus and the legislature has made this a priority. The stars are aligned for this project and the Governor's announcement today is what we have all been working for."
The Patrick-Murray Administration's FY10-14 Capital Plan is a five-year plan that that reflects the current economic challenges the state is facing during this global recession. While the Administration continues to make significant, worthwhile investments in key areas including higher education, transportation and the innovation economy, the FY10 bond cap has been reduced by $226 million or 13 percent from the amount planned for FY10 in the five-year plan published last year.
To read the full plan, please visit www.mass.gov/capital.