Nanoscale campus plans to get bigger

Plans are afoot to expand the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering by

Plans are afoot to expand the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering by more than 50 percent over the next four years, according to an environmental assessment form recently filed with the state.

Dubbed the “Campus Northerly Expansion,” the massive two-phase project would add 460,000 square feet of building space and a 510-space parking deck on 11 acres of UAlbany-owned land located south of Interstate 90. About half of the land would be dedicated to building the new structures, while the remainder would be used to relocate part of Washington Avenue Extension.

Plans for the first phase of construction include a 191,000-square-foot building with 25,000 square feet of clean room space. Also included in the phase is the construction of a bridge across Washington Avenue Extension and a service entrance.

The second phase would add a pair of buildings totalling about 300,000 square feet and a multi-level parking deck. This phase would be dependent upon the construction of a roundabout at Tricentennial Drive and Fuller Road, in addition to the relocation of Washington Avenue Extension.

The project would increase the NanoCollege’s total space by about 57 percent, according to documents filed with the state Department of Environmental Conservation this month. Construction could begin in September, with the final phase being completed in December 2014.

Construction would generate roughly 400 jobs and be partially funded through grants. Upon completion, the site would employ about 1,000 additional workers.

NanoCollege spokesman Steve Janack, declined to discuss any plans for expansion other than in broad terms. He said the NanoCollege is committed to growing its research capabilities and is always exploring options to expand its facilities.

“As we look at where that could happen, we view the area across from the Washington Avenue Extension and away from the neighborhoods as one of the best areas for expansion,” he said.

In specific, Janack pointed to a parcel that is land-locked by I-90. Ideally, he said this land could be incorporated into the NanoCollege, so that it wouldn’t need to rely on property located closer to the neighborhoods branching off of Fuller Road.

Already, the NanoCollege includes 800,000 square feet of building space, including 80,000 square feet dedicated to clean rooms. Ground was broken on the first building in 1997, and the campus has grown steadily.

CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex has grown from 72 workers when the state Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology was formed in 2001 to more than 2,500 today. CNSE now has partnerships with more than 250 companies, including IBM, AMD, Global Foundries, SEMATECH, ASML, Applied Materials, and Tokyo Electron, among a host of others.

The last expansion project cost $150 million and was completed in March 2009. The construction included two buildings totaling roughly 350,000 square feet.

Janack said the expansion of the NanoCollege has mimicked the overall growth of high-tech industry throughout the Capital Region. He said future expansion will follow the momentum of nanotechnology growth in the area.

“We see a tremendous upside for the future,” he said.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply