Schenectady County

Union to break ground Friday for graduate center

Union Graduate College officials will break ground Friday morning on a $8-million administration and
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Union Graduate College officials will break ground Friday morning on a $8-million administration and classroom building at Nott and Liberty streets.

Dubbed the Graduate Center, the building is scheduled to open in the fall. The three-story, 24,000-square-foot building will contain student services, computer labs, classrooms, meeting rooms and faculty offices.

Union Graduate College offers master’s degrees in management, engineering, education and bioethics. Its currently shares space on the Union College campus but is a separate and independent institution.

“It is fitting and proper for Union Graduate College to have a home of its own, and it is time,” said Thomas Hitchcock, chairman of the Board of Trustees for Union Graduate College.

He said the new facility will better serve students and faculty, meet the needs of a growing enrollment and contribute to revitalization efforts in the city.

The new facility will also be a showcase of “environmentally-responsible construction,” Hitchcock said. It will contain high-efficiency lighting and windows as well as a geothermal heating and cooling system. The roof is being designed as an “open-air laboratory,” where solar panels will be used for engineering courses on emerging energy technology, he said.

As part of the campus design, college officials will reintroduce American elm trees, Hitchcock said.

“Historically, these trees were used to line city streets, but were wiped out by disease. The campus will include a new, disease-resistant type of American elm,” he said.

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