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Photo courtesy of Assemblywoman Nily Rozic

With an infusion in state funding, Queens College in Flushing will hit the ground running in its plans to renovate the athletic track and other campus facilities.

Last week, state lawmakers met with Queens College officials to formally present $750,000 in funds for capital improvements. Two-thirds of the funds will be used to renovate Queens College’s outdoor running track, and the remainder will go toward upgrades outlined in the college’s capital plan.

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, who allocated the state funding, took part in the presentation along with state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Queens College President Felix V. Matos Rodríguez and faculty and staff from both Queens College and Townsend Harris High School.

“Queens College is a cornerstone of our community that provides quality, affordable education for students of all backgrounds and academic pursuits,” Rozic said. “As Queens College continues upgrading campus facilities, expanding degree programs, and building community partnerships, it is my privilege to provide funding that will allow Queens College to achieve its mission of serving students and the Queens community.”

Townsend Harris, which is located adjacent to Queens College, and John Bowne High School in Flushing use the outdoor track at Queens College as part of their respective programs.

“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,” Stavisky said. “The funding allocated by Assemblywoman Rozic will go a long way in providing Queens College and Townsend Harris students with improved athletic facilities.”

“By helping us upgrade our campus, and in particular the outdoor athletic track, [Rozic] is improving facilities enjoyed by the entire neighborhood, including the students at Townsend Harris High School and John Bowne High School,” Rodríguez added.

The Queens College capital plan, as noted, includes upgrades to the campus’s electrical, heating and air conditioning systems as well as improvements to science laboratories at Remsen Hall and renovations to the Fitzgerald Gymnasium. David Gerwin, professor of secondary education and youth services and chapter chair of Queens College PSC-CUNY, expressed optimism that the funding announced last week is the harbinger of better things to come at Queens College.

“It is our hope that the $750,000 funding announced here is just the beginning of a renewed commitment by NYS to CUNY and Queens College, to rebuild our physical facilities, to invest in our faculty and staff, to eliminate the ‘TAP gap,'” said Gerwin, referring to the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), a financial aid initiative to help college students pay their tuition.

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