The city will use part of a $763,000 grant from National Grid to create safe walkways to entice students from Union College and Union Graduate College to downtown.
The Metroplex Development Authority will administer the grant. Chairman Ray Gillen said the project, which is about a year from being launched, will involve installing energy efficient lights, directional signs and perhaps kiosks to create a safe pathway from the colleges to downtown venues.
“It will create these connective corridors that have been successful in other cities,” Gillen said. “The idea is to make it a more walkable downtown.”
The connective corridors will run north along Jay Street and branch off Franklin and Liberty streets to Nott Terrace.
National Grid President Tom King announced the grant during a news event Tuesday inside the Center City complex on State Street. Center City contains the new Schenectady YMCA, one of the venues along the connective corridors.
David Buicko, chief operating officer for the Galesi Group, said the connective corridors should also attract workers from the new Golub headquarters on Nott Street.
Galesi owns Center City and is completing a $30 million refurbishment and expansion of the structure. Galesi received part of the $763,000 National Grid grant for this project.
Mayor Brian U. Stratton said the National Grid grant will help college students to become a “vibrant and dynamic component to downtown.”
Said Stratton, “it is only natural that National Grid is putting investment into a community known for generations for its innovation and technology.”
King said National Grid provided the grant because “it is committed to this market and this community.”
During this year, National Grid will provide approximately $9 million in grants for economic development projects in upstate New York, King said. “National Grid’s grants will help get upstate New York’s economy moving again,” he said.
As part of Tuesday’s presentation, National Grid also announced it awarded a $200,000 brownfield grant to offset Galesi’s costs to clean up the 10-acre former Big N site, now home to the Golub headquarters.
Gillen said the National Grid grant was essential to helping launch this project.
National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella said the project was completed more than a year ago but that the check presentation was the final stage of the process.