State fund provides capital for local college buildings

Four local colleges are receiving a total of $6.6 million in grants from the state Higher Education Capital Match Program, known as HECap, which provides matching grants that pay up to one-fourth of the cost of a project.

Leading the pack is $5 million for construction of a building for the planned Global Cybersecurity Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology. The grant will be matched to $8 million from Austin McChord, the RIT grad who recently gave $50 million to the university. RIT is planning to raise the additional $7 million needed for the $20 million project.

University of Rochester will receive $1 million to add one or two floors onto its University Health Service building on the River Campus. The $4.5 million project is slated to begin construction in May 2019.

Nazareth College will receive a grant of $450,487 for a new roof on the Nazareth Arts Center costing $1.8 million in total. The iconic structure’s roof was last replaced in 1988.

As previously reported, St. John Fisher will receive $145,000 to help pay for furnishings for the $17 million Upper Quad dormitory building under construction now.

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Fisher wins grant to help furnish dormitory under construction

St. John Fisher has won a state grant of $145,000 to help furnish and equip a dormitory it is building with plans to open in fall 2019.

The grant came from the state’s Higher Education Capital (known as HECap) Matching Grant program and must be matched by three times the amount in the recipient’s spending. The grant helps pay for furnishings in the dorm rooms and in common areas, such as lounges and quiet study rooms. It will also have laundry and recycling facilities on each floor.

Total cost of the Upper Quad Residence Hall, located roughly in the center of campus where a parking lot used to be, is expected to be about $17 million.

Linda Steinkirchner, vice president for finance and chief financial officer, said the new dorm will allow the college to stop putting three freshmen in a room at times when the demand for housing incoming freshmen outstrips the availability of rooms.

“Our hope would be that in fall of  ’19, depending on enrollment, we don’t have students in triples anymore,” she said.

Built next to Keough Hall, the Upper Quad building will look similar to that 2005 dormitory. The new dorm will include a kitchen and also have common rooms and quiet study rooms. Laundry and recycling facilities will be on each of the three floors. The dorm will house about 150 students, mostly in doubles. Six singles meeting American Disability Act regulations also will be available for students who have medical or disability needs.

Steinkirchner said plans to build the dorm came out of the college’s strategic plan, which had urged the campus administration to invest in more housing.

“Over the last 15 years, the College has grown its academic offerings and invested in a number of academic facilities,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of Fisher. “We are proud to now have the opportunity to expand our student life spaces with the construction of this vibrant new residence hall.”

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