Over the last few years, I have shared with you our interest in building a downtown campus that would be a new home for many Damon City Campus programs and several of our technology degree programs. Until recently, our discussions have been preliminary and general. As reported this week in the news media, a vision is coalescing around a joint MCC campus, performing arts center and transit center. Governor George Pataki’s mention of the project in Wednesday’s State of the State address certainly adds energy to the movement; I believe momentum is building.
MCC’s commitment to being an educational and economic player downtown has been part of our vision since opening the Damon City Campus in 1992. Co-locating DCC with the performing arts center and the transit center builds on that commitment and offers many advantages for our community. A strong connection to the performing arts center may present exciting learning opportunities for our students in the arts, business, education and other fields. In addition, convenient access to public transportation in a welcoming and secure environment is important to many of our students. Finally, securing a campus that we own, not lease, allows us to manage our learning environments more effectively.
While there are a number of challenges and issues that still require further discussion, the synergy created by co-locating these projects may be sufficient to complete the funding packages needed. I appreciate the Governor’s mention of the project and look forward to advancing this initiative with County Executive Maggie Brooks and Mayor Bill Johnson. I will keep you informed as the project moves forward.
R. Thomas Flynn