By Carlotta Mohamed
With state funding from lawmakers, Queens College is well on its way toward making improvements to better serve its students.
State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) presented Queens College last week with allocated funding in the amount of $750,000 for its capital plan renovations.
Rozic made the announcement Aug. 22 with state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), and faculty and staff from Townsend Harris High School and Queens College at the Athletic Track located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.
“Queens College is a cornerstone of our community that provides quality, affordable education for students of all backgrounds and academic pursuits,” said Rozic. “As QC continues upgrading campus facilities, expanding degree programs, and building community partnerships, it is my privilege to provide funding that will allow QC to achieve its mission of serving students and the Queens community.”
Of the $750,000, $500,000 has been designated for upgrading and maintaining the outdoor athletic track and $250,000 toward upgrades as part of Queens College Capital Plan.
“By helping us upgrade our campus, and in particular the outdoor athletic track, she [Rozic] is improving facilities enjoyed by the entire neighborhood, including the students at Townsend Harris High School and John Bowne High School,” said Queens College President Félix Matos Rodríguez.
Townsend Harris, an academically strong public high school adjacent to Queens College, uses the campus track and field as part of its program.
“The partnership between Townsend Harris High School and Queens College is an example of the blending of rigorous academic excellence, diverse, talented, motivated students and faculty, and community service,” said Stavisky. “The funding allocated by Assemblywoman Rozic will go a long way in providing Queens College and Townsend Harris students with improved athletic facilities.”
Queens College’s Five-Year Capital Plan for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 through Fiscal Year 2012-2022 outlines electric, heating, and air-conditioning system improvements n addition to renovation of the Fitzgerald Gymnasium and Science laboratories at Remsen Hall.
David Gerwin, professor of Secondary Education & Youth Services and chapter chair, of Queens College PSC-CUNY, the Professional Staff Congress union that represents 30,000 faculty and staff at CUNY and the CUNY Research Foundation, said Rozic’s funding is just the beginning of a renewed commitment by New York state to CUNY and Queens College, to rebuild their physical facilities, invest in faculty and staff, and to eliminate the “TAP gap,” a New York State Tuition Assistance Program that helps New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in the state.
“Assembly member Rozic and Sen. Stavisk have been tireless champions for Queens College, and I have been impressed by how well they have received our students during Higher Education Lobby Day in Albany,” said Gerwin. “President Matos has worked hard in these tight budgetary times to ensure that Queens College continues to provide our students with a strong education, and that faculty and staff participate in important research that develops new approaches to the many challenges we face in the 21st century.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha