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CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, President Eanes and Officials Unveil Capital Projects at York

Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, President Berenecea Jonhson Eanes and Queens elected officials have unveiled seven capital projects at York College, completed during the COVID pandemic.
From Left to Right: CUNY Trustee Una Clarke speaks with a student ambassador; York President, Dr. Bernecea Johnson Eanes, Student Senator Nish Hoa Mullins, Trustee Una Clarke, Councilman I. Daneek Miller, President Eanes, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Vice-Chancellor Hector Batista, Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriquez, Chancellor Matos Rodriquez and President Eanes enjoy a new escalator.

Nearly $30 million of State and City funds were invested for these critically needed facilities including two lecture halls, two new labs, elevators and escalators.

York College unveiled seven capital projects that represent a $29.2 million investment of public funds to improve classrooms and facilities that will benefit students, faculty, staff and visitors. Although years in the making, the projects completed during the pandemic were made possible with over $20 million provided by New York State; the remainder came from a number of City elected officials, both past and present. 

“Investing in CUNY means investing in our future and creating more pathways to success for New Yorkers,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “These critical projects will bolster York College's campus and help deliver for students.” 

The seven completed capital projects at the Jamaica, Queens, campus include two new laboratories, one for biology and one for chemistry; two updated lecture halls; an updated faculty dining room that will double as a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art multimedia gathering space for faculty that can be used by the local community, as well as upgraded elevators and escalators throughout the campus. 

“The completion of these seven capital projects at York College during the COVID-19 pandemic epitomizes the determination of the City University of New York to see long-term goals through to the end no matter the obstacles in our way,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the projects last Friday at York College. “These projects also illustrate that the investments of public dollars in CUNY that benefit our students and mission are investments that pay dividends for our city, state and nation for years to come. I would like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul and the many other elected officials who helped made this day possible, as well as President Eanes for her leadership.” 

Of the $29.2 total funding, $21.2 million was provided by New York State in the Critical Maintenance Program, and $8 million from City elected officials, including Council Member I. Daneek Miller (District 27); Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz who supported the projects during her time as Queens Borough President; former Councilman, now State Senator Leroy Comrie; and various members of the Queens Delegation of the City Council, past and present.   

“I am delighted with the outcome of the projects,” said President Berenecea Johnson Eanes. “York College opened its permanent campus in 1986 and after three and a half decades of constant use, many features were in dire need of replacement, upgrading or rewiring. I thank our leaders in elected office, including those no longer in those offices, for their support in allocating the funds for these projects. I also extend my sincere gratitude to Chancellor Matos Rodríguez for his leadership in this and so much more. None of this is possible without CUNY’s and the chancellor’s support.” 

The seven capital projects at York College are: 

  • Two Lecture Halls  
    These two renovated lecture hall classrooms in the Academic Core building, York’s main academic building. The upgrades include state-of-the-art audio-visual and lighting systems for improved student experience. 
  • Two Chemistry and Biology Labs 
    Two new, completely renovated state-of-the-art laboratories in the Academic Core building, one for chemistry, the other for biology that will enhance students’ learning experience. 
  • Faculty Dining Room 
    This space was completely renovated to create a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art multimedia and dining gathering space for faculty, staff and community use. 
  • Elevators and Escalators 
    Eight elevators and 14 escalators throughout the college were upgraded in order to reduce equipment failure and ease transportation bottlenecks campus-wide. All new equipment is compliant with current building and ADA codes. 
  • Building Management System (BMS) 
    The new BMS will provide automated temperature control throughout its Academic Core Building. The BMS is integrated with recently completed mechanical systems upgrade to provide overall improved energy management performance, bringing the college one step closer to an eventual overhaul and modernization of the existing outdated HVAC system. 

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