Genesee Community College Lands $457,000 Energy Conservation Grant

Genesee Community College has been awarded a $457,661 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for replacement of campus lighting with new energy-efficient devices, the Board of Trustees learned Monday.

Genesee Community College has been awarded a $457,661 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for replacement of campus lighting with new energy-efficient devices, the Board of Trustees learned Monday.

Through the grant, the College will replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting fixtures and ballasts with more efficient fluorescent lighting and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs over the next year. LED bulbs are highly energy-efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs, according to Kevin P. Hamilton, Vice President for Finance and Operations. “These changes create greater light output per unit of electrical power used,” Mr. Hamilton said. “And will result in savings of at least $48,000 annually at Genesee.

NYSERDA is a state agency created to fund research and infrastructure initiatives that result in greater efficiency throughout the state, and ultimately a reduction in reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA grants are highly competitive. The grant proposal was coordinated by longtime Buildings and Grounds Director Timothy M. Landers.

“This is a grant we have never had before,” President Stuart Steiner told trustees. “It is very significant.”

Mr. Hamilton told trustees that the College will continue to seek “green” grants. “Our hope is that we will receive additional funds to be able to complete other projects such as boiler replacements, upgrades to the energy management system and motor replacements. We continue to study the feasibility of solar and wind power.”

In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:

Approved a $16,863 athletic facilities upgrade change order for the purchase and installation of new lockers in the men’s locker room.

Heard Board Chair Laurie J. Miller appoint a three-member board subcommittee to review proposed fees for the College’s Batavia Campus athletic fields. Named to the ad-hoc committee were Maureen T. Marshall, Chair; Kenneth A. Dodd, and Laura J. Bohm.

Heard Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin P. Hamilton report that drywall is being installed in the portion of the new Genesee County Economic Development Center’s Med Tech Park designated for the College’s nursing program. Staff should be able to move in by July 1. Mr. Hamilton also said that only “punch list” items need to be completed on the turf field project. These include landscaping and bleacher work. Mr. Hamilton also shared preliminary architectural sketches of the planned Art Gallery to trustees. Architects recommend a limestone exterior, to match the nearby Batavia Campus entranceways.

Heard Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia M. Taylor report that 1,308 individuals applied for admission as full-time students for the Spring 2010 semester, up 32% from the 990 individuals who had applied a year earlier.

Heard Dr. Taylor report that the College is receiving applications from area high school students for Summer 2010 Genesee Promise Plus scholarships.Under this program, seniors enrolled in area high schools receive a scholarship for one or two summer courses at Genesee. Last year, the Promise Plus program had 351 registrations, up 14% from the 217 registrations received in summer 2008, the program’s first year.

Heard Genesee Student Lori Mould describe “Bridge Winter Camp,” an event that brought 200 SUNY faculty, staff, and students to The People’s Republic of China over the winter break. The Chinese government invited SUNY to send a delegation as a follow-up to SUNY’s gesture a year earlier to bring 150 Chinese students from earthquake-ravaged Sichuan Province area two years ago. Eight Chinese students completed a year of study at Genesee during the 2008-2009 academic year. Ms. Mould shared photographs of Beijing, Olympic Village, Chinese art and architecture, the Panda Research Center, and the Great Wall of China. Ms. Mould was able to meet one of the former Genesee students during the trip. Ms. Mould called the visit to China a “life-changing experience.” Ms. Mould also serves as Genesee Community College student trustee.

Heard Genesee student Colleen McKay describe her business experience in her native Canada, and how she came to select Genesee as her college choice. Ms. McKay, whose family lives in Woodstock, Ontario, started a farm market business with her brothers and sisters as a youngster. The business operates about six months a year, selling produce and baked goods. The business – “Your Farm Market” – has grown over the years and now earns more than $400,000 annually in gross revenue. Ms. McKay, now 20 and a longtime softball pitcher, met Genesee Assistant Softball Coach Pat Clark, who was visiting Woodstock and talking to prospective students. “I spent about five minutes with him, and he taught me six new pitches in that short period of time. I was so amazed by him, and after he left, I looked up Genesee Community College on the web. I knew I wanted to come here and play softball.” Ms. McKay, who is pursuing a degree in Entrepreneurship and holds a 4.0 (“straight A”) average, called Genesee an “amazingly friendly place.”