GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES INVESTMENTS IN SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY AND NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO GROW OPPORTUNITY AND BETTER PREPARE STUDENTS FOR SUCCESS
SALEM - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced significant public higher education investments on the North Shore to expand growth and opportunity for students and residents throughout the region. At Salem State University, $32.9 million in capital funding will modernize and expand Meier Hall to prepare students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition, $20.7 million in capital funding will expand and modernize North Shore Community College’s Lynn Campus to accommodate additional student services and classrooms to prepare students for workforce needs. Governor Patrick made the announcement while speaking at the North Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Breakfast at Salem’s Hawthorne Hotel.
“Growth comes from investment, and requires that government do certain things so that our students can succeed and our businesses can create jobs,” said Governor Patrick. “Making investments that will modernize Salem State’s science labs and North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus will help shape the future of this region by better preparing students for the workforce needs of a global economy.”
“The investments we make in our institutions of public higher education go a long way in creating a stronger Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We know that if we are able to inspire our students in state of the art classrooms while also teaching them skills that will prepare them for the workforce we will see a great return on our investment.”
"This is an important announcement not only for Salem State University but, also for the North Shore and the Commonwealth,” said President of Salem State University, Patricia Maguire Meservey. “It expands our ability to deliver to our students the best possible education in critical areas such as science and health when demand for those skills in the marketplace is higher than it has ever been. We appreciate the Governor making this investment in our University's future."
“We are thrilled and excited about this news that is so important for the Gateway City of Lynn as well as North Shore Community College,” said North Shore Community College Interim President, Janice Forsstrom. “This expansion/renovation is what our students deserve and will assist them in realizing their dreams, along with providing for the region’s workforce development needs of the future.”
The Salem State project will significantly upgrade Meier Hall’s science lab space to meet 21st century higher education and workforce needs. The current labs, constructed in 1962 and 1968, have not been upgraded in more than 40 years. Salem State has the largest nursing program among all Massachusetts colleges with 700 students. The university has over 430 students majoring in biology and an increasingly popular biotechnology concentration. The chemistry department attracts 80 students a year and features a biochemistry concentration.
The expansion and modernization of North Shore Community College’s Lynn Campus includes an addition to the campus to house academic technology, math re-design, adjunct office spaces, a Center for Academic Success, tutoring, student services, student lounges and classrooms. In addition, there will be code upgrades to the existing McGee building, as well as the repurposing of 18,000 square feet of space to upgrade existing labs, expand the current kitchen and renovate the campus police space and associated facilities. The project is being designed to achieve LEED Silver certification and Mass LEED Plus. A study funded by the college has recently been completed and is ready for certification. The study will be followed by a one year design period and roughly two years of construction. In 2012, Governor Patrick signed into law reforms that will unify the Commonwealth’s community college system to better align with workforce needs and close the “skills gap” that leaves good jobs unfilled.
The Patrick Administration has made significant capital investments in the Commonwealth’s higher education infrastructure in order to increase growth and opportunity for the Commonwealth’s students. In fiscal year (FY) 2008, the Governor increased funding for higher education capital projects through his first five-year capital plan, and shortly afterwards obtained passage of the $2.2 billion, 10-year higher education bond bill that authorized, among others, $32.9 million of capital funds towards Salem State University’s Meier Hall and $20.7 million of capital funds towards North Shore Community College’s Lynn Campus extension and modernization. The FY2014 Capital Plan, which will be released later this fall, includes state funding for these two projects for the first time. Today, higher education investments represent more than 10 percent of the Commonwealth’s entire bond cap, up from three percent in fiscal year 2007.
Click here to read Governor Patrick's remarks.