Avella secures $2 million for Queens College labs – QNS.com

Avella secures $2 million for Queens College labs

By Alex Robinson

One of Queens College’s older research laboratories is set to be revamped.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced last week he secured $2 million in the state budget to fund much-needed upgrades to some of the Flushing school’s science facilities.

One of the labs set for an upgrade was originally built in 1949 and is in dire need of being renovated, as it has only been refurbished once four years ago.

“This is a place where hundreds of thousands of students obtain education in chemistry and biology,” interim President Evangelos Gizis said. “There is a rule that every 25 years you should renovate each laboratory. And even though we try to renovate as often as we can and control the noise and dust caused by the construction, we cannot always control the resources needed to make the renovations.”

The old lab’s renovation four years ago only included installing a new floor and the removal of a bench to provide space for equipment. Everything else is still in need of an upgrade, from the lab’s wooden benches and table tops, to the supply lines for gas and water.

The lab is used primarily by Professor Michael Mirkin, internationally regarded in his field of electrochemistry for his research and teaching.

School officials said the adjacent rooms would also be upgraded to allow them to be used for research purposes.

The renovations will provide Mirkin’s lab with a movable bench and working space systems suitable for his research efforts in electrochemistry.

“Education is key to the future of our children and we, as legislators, need to ensure that every college, especially within the City University of New York, has the best resources to provide our children with the best possible education,” Avella said. “It is, unfortunately, very clear that this research lab needs to be upgraded and I am very proud to announce the $2 million grant that I was able to get for this project in this year’s state budget to upgrade the lab.”

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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