For Immediate Release - October 03, 2012

$22 MILLION INVESTED IN MASSACHUSETTS BAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE AS PART OF 2013 CAPITAL PLAN

2013 Capital Plan includes $298M for community colleges over five years; reflects Administration’s commitment to expanding economic opportunity by building world-class public higher education system

FRAMINGHAM – Wednesday, October 3, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced $22 million in capital funds for Massachusetts Bay (MassBay) Community College, furthering the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to building an affordable, world-class system of public higher education in Massachusetts. The college will use the funds to construct a new Allied Health academic building and to explore opportunities for a permanent Framingham campus.

"MassBay Community College is full of talent and promise and potential,” said Governor Patrick. “These funds will help the students and faculty seize the opportunities before them.”

“Our Administration is committed to maintaining Massachusetts’ reputation for world-class educational facilities,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “By investing in MassBay Community College and our institutions of public higher education, we are ensuring the Commonwealth remains at the forefront in educating our students to meet the demands of a changing and competitive job market."

Community colleges across the state are receiving a total of $298 million over five years through the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Capital Plan. Last week, the Governor awarded MassBay Community College a $300,000 grant to enhance the first year experience for MassBay students, positively impacting student retention. Part of a $4 million round of awards, that funding will support increased skill training and workforce alignment, improved student learning outcomes and efficiency measures at community colleges across the Commonwealth. These grants, along with the capital investments in community college campuses and programs, deliver on the goals of the Governor’s community college initiative to put more people in Massachusetts back to work and to strengthen the connections between community colleges, employers and the workforce.

“We are grateful for these critical funds as we move this institution forward,” said MassBay President John O’Donnell. “MassBay is poised to expand our programs, services and capacity to meet the needs of the vibrant Framingham and MetroWest communities we serve, and we are grateful for the support of our partners in the Administration, Legislature and the MetroWest community.”

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has made investing in public higher education a priority,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. “This fiscally responsible investment creates construction jobs today and prepares our students to be the skilled, knowledge-based workforce we need to fill the jobs of tomorrow.”

“This investment will not only allow MassBay to better equip its students with the skills they need to succeed in the classroom and in the workforce, but will also benefit entire communities throughout the Metrowest region,” said Secretary of Education Paul Reville.

“One of the greatest natural resources we have in Massachusetts is our educated and skilled workforce and this is an important investment to help increase access to high-quality education in our region,” said Senator Karen Spilka. “These capital funds for our community colleges are a great example of the role government can play to make sure that we have an appropriately skilled workforce, which is critical to maintain our economic vitality and our competitive edge as a Commonwealth.”

"This is a major win for Framingham and the rest of the MetroWest area. Establishing a MassBay campus in downtown Framingham will revitalize the area. A downtown Framingham campus will connect students with the booming innovation economy in MetroWest," said Representative Tom Sannicandro, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. "Our community colleges are vital to maintaining a strong, healthy economy and the Governor is continuing his commitment to making sure they have the resources they need."

"The Patrick Administration has consistently backed up their ideas with action," said Representative Chris Walsh. "Their conceptualization of an education driven economy rings true to the realities of today's technology based jobs. Their strong support of the community college system and in particular MassBay Community College and its plan to grow in Framingham is evidence of not only a deep understanding of the importance of education to individuals but of the huge impact that educational institutions have in our cities and towns; education is the number one product of the Commonwealth and we must do everything in our power to keep it strong."

In addition to the capital funds being announced for MassBay Community College today, the 2013 Capital Plan includes funding to start four other community college projects. This underscores the Administration’s continued commitment to investing in a community college system that provides relevant, affordable educational and career-focused training programs to prepare students of all ages for both the local job market and further academic study.

The four additional community college projects include:

  • $20.7 million for Roxbury Community College to provide needed renovations to the Academic and Media Arts building and plan for new infrastructure related to life science and allied health programing.
  • $37.9 million for Mount Wachusett Community College to modernize the Haley building and a wet lab addition.
  • $21.1 million for Berkshire Community College to renovate the Hawthorne & Melville Halls, including their exterior masonry repairs.
  • $6.8 million for Springfield Technical Community College for major envelope repairs and other renovations needed at the main classroom and student activity building.

In 2008, Governor Patrick proposed and the Legislature approved a $2.2 billion higher education bond bill. In FY13, the Commonwealth’s capital investment in higher education will be more than three times the total amount invested in FY07, when Governor Patrick took office. The full plan will be released in its entirety next week.

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