SUNY Maritime plans $24.8 million in new construction

(BRONX, N.Y.) — SUNY Maritime College on Monday announced three construction projects totaling $24.8 million that will enhance and build on the campus’s modern facilities for students pursuing a career in the global marine transportation industry.

Groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies with state and local leaders celebrated the college’s new Student Learning Center and its fully renovated Marine Engineering Systems Laboratory, made possible through significant New York state capital investment through SUNY and Empire State Development (ESD).

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 on the William Austen Marine Education and Seamanship Center. SUNY Maritime rendering

The funding includes a $1 million donation from a maritime college alumnus, as well as a donation from the Marine Society that will support the William Austen Marine Education and Seamanship Center, construction of which is scheduled to begin this month.

“What we will witness is a significant investment in the future of (the) maritime college by the state of New York, SUNY Construction Fund, Empire State Development, and a generous alum,” said Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, SUNY Maritime College president. “We view these improvements as a means of further strengthening the development of a well-prepared merchant mariner and offshore wind workforce while leveraging the uniqueness of the college.”

New York state investment includes funding to SUNY for construction projects and a $600,000 grant from Empire State Development’s Regional Economic Development Council. These projects will significantly enhance student and professional mariner experiential learning, allowing them to successfully apply their knowledge using the most advanced technology in the fields of transportation, environmental science, engineering, and other areas of the maritime industry including offshore wind.

“These capital projects are a collective pledge to student opportunities in science and innovation, as we are actively encouraging students to pursue and succeed in STEM fields,” said SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. “(The) maritime college’s use of this remarkable and well-appreciated funding is directly in line with the goals of SUNY and Gov. Hochul’s outlook for our students’ futures in her State of the State address. SUNY will continue to strive for workforce development initiatives by providing students with the highest quality of education, facilities, and programs in order to effectively advance their careers and contribute to a vibrant New York state workforce.”

“ESD is moving full steam ahead with strategic investments in the William Austen Marine Education and Seamanship Center, which will advance statewide initiatives such as workforce development and skill-building,” said Hope Knight, Empire State Development acting commissioner and president and CEO-designate. “The Seamanship Center, along with the new Student Learning Center and renovated Marine Engineering Systems Laboratory, will be state-of-the-art facilities that will serve SUNY Maritime’s talented student body and is a win for the Bronx and New York state’s economy.”

About the maritime projects

The Student Learning Center meets the high demand for tutoring services and academic skills assistance. This welcoming, functional and purpose-designed space is intended to support peer-based individual and group tutoring, skills assistance, and individual/group studying.

The newly redesigned Marine Engineering Systems Laboratory features high- and low-pressure steam systems complete with high-pressure water tube and low-pressure fire tube steam boilers, in addition to a steam turbine and dynamometer, surface condenser, deaerator, oil separator, various pumps, dry cooler condenser, steam condensing unit receiver, HVAC air handler, steam absorption chiller, water/steam chemical treatment station, and water softener system. The lab will serve as a valuable learning platform for engineering students studying marine, electrical, facility and mechanical engineering as well as students enrolled in the deck license program pursuing a third-assistant engineering license.

The William Austen Marine Education and Seamanship Center will serve as a technologically advanced center set on the waterfront and boast a marine environmental science wet lab on the first floor consisting of aquaria and touch tanks for teaching and research. The second floor will support seamanship training for students and professional mariners. The center is made possible by state funding and a $1 million donation from Maritime College alumnus William F. Austen, Class of 1980. The Marine Society of NYC also contributed funds for the outfitting of the center, which is expected to be completed by 2023.

— SUNY Maritime College

By Rich Miller