The south side of Assemblyman R. Steven Hawley Drive (formerly College Road) across from Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus could become the site of Genesee County Economic Development Center's Med Tech Industrial Park in the near future as the result of action by the College's Board of Trustees this evening.
Trustees unanimously supported the transfer of 30 acres of land to the GCEDC for the business park, which could eventually accommodate up to ten buildings encompassing 150,000 square feet of indoor space - and bring hundreds of high-tech jobs to the community. The transfer of the acreage for the project is subject to the approval of the Genesee County Legislature and the State University of New York.
The Med-Tech Park would provide facilities for companies that design and manufacture sophisticated medical devices, telemedicine technology, and related biomedical goods and services. The proposed location of the park, across from the College's Batavia Campus, was deliberate, according to GCEDC CEO Steven Hyde. The College's BEST Center - literally across the road from the business park - would be available to provide training and education to employees of the companies locating operations in the new park, Mr. Hyde said. Also, The BEST Center's new GLOW Region Small Business Development Center, scheduled to open in late winter in cooperation with SUNY College at Brockport, can provide hands-on guidance to owners and managers of the companies locating in the Med-Tech Park, many of them start-up ventures.
Mr. Hyde, a graduate of Genesee's Class of '82, also noted that Genesee Community College plans to establish a Biotechnology degree program in the near future. "This program will be a natural source of employees, internships, and other creative partnerships between the College and the high-tech companies locating across the road," he said.
The kickoff date for the new Med-Tech Park could be in the very near future, Mr. Hyde told trustees. He explained that two companies - a high-tech manufacturer of orthopedic and neurological devices and a telemedicine developer - have expressed strong interest in the new park. "If we can establish the park and get the infrastructure in place, it's very possible that these two companies would be ready to break ground almost immediately," he said. Together, the two companies would initially bring about 75 jobs to the community.
Advances in health care are spawning a significant upsurge in the biotechnology and telemedicine industries, Mr. Hyde said. The relatively low cost of living in Upstate New York, along with tax and economic incentives, research facilities at area colleges and universities, and a willing work force, can help bring med-tech companies to the region, he explained. "People are noticing us," Mr. Hyde told trustees. "There's a lot of noise out there about some of the very significant successes we've had in economic development over the last few years."
In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:
•Approved Genesee's participation in the State University of New York Distinguished Faculty Rank process. This highly confidential process is used throughout SUNY to identify and recommend extraordinary faculty members for the rank of Distinguished Professor - the most prestigious faculty rank in the State University system.
•Approved continuing appointments of four years for 27 members of the faculty and staff. Renewals of continuing appointments were granted to Ruth Andes, Acting Assistant Dean for Assessment and Special Projects; Joseph Bailey, Director, Student Financial Assistance and Veteran Services; Barry Chow, Director, Learning Technology Services; Anne Feary, Technical Assistant for College Services; Kathleen Guyett, Professor of Nursing; Frances Hoeft, Professor of Nursing; Marie Iglesias-Cardinale, Associate Professor of English; Ronald Jacobs, Director/Assistant Professor of Respiratory Care; Peggy Kerr, Director/Professor of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program; Tanya Lane-Martin, Director of Admissions; Harold Legg, Technical Specialist for Recruitment Communications; Susan Marschke, Professor/ Counselor, Career Center; Kathy Palumbo, Associate Professor of Nursing; Philip Pickering, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Michael Powers, Professor of Art; Cliff Scutella, Director of Student Activities; and Rebecca Tallo, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems. Faculty and staff members receiving their first continuing appointment included Cheyenne Adams, Instructor of English; Christine Belongia, Instructor of Teacher Education; Gregory Dalton, Director/Associate Professor of the Paralegal Program; Wayne Gruendike, Technical Specialist, Buildings and Grounds; Ricki Huff, Instructor of Mathematics; Edward Levinstein, Technical Specialist, Accelerated College Enrollment Programs; Mary Macdonald, Instructor of Nursing; Andrea Nider Schlau, Campus Center Associate, Genesee Community College at Lakeville; Roberta Taggart, Instructor of Human Services; and Alan Wright, Technical Specialist, Business Operations.
•Approved a resolution declaring a parcel of land approximately two acres in size adjacent to College Village as excess. Upon approval of the Genesee County Legislature and the State University of New York, the parcel will be conveyed to the Genesee Community College Foundation for future expansion of College Village, the Foundation's student residence.
•Approved a new Comprehensive Technology Master Plan for Genesee. The Plan encompasses about 65 strategies Genesee will use to maintain its position as one of the most technologically advanced community colleges in the northeastern United States, according to Computer Services Director John Reina. Included in the Technology Master Plan are more distance learning initiatives, additional staff and faculty technology training, and the development of the College Library as a true "information commons." "We are in the forefront of SUNY colleges that embrace and take advantage of new technology," Mr. Reina told the Board before it accepted the Plan.
•Heard Vice President for Student Services George W. Walker report that 647 prospective students have applied for admission for the Spring 2006 semester as of December 29, up from the 643 students who applied for admission exactly one year earlier.
•Heard Director of Development and External Affairs Richard Ensman report that cumulative contributions to the Genesee Community College Foundation in support of college programs have exceeded $7 million since the Foundation was founded in the mid-1980s.