Alfred State College recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate an amazing new facility that will soon serve as the home of the school’s building trades: building construction program.
Attending the ceremony for the Construction Industry Workforce Development Center were project supporters and partners, elected officials, distinguished guests, friends of the college, and Alfred State administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
Located on the Wellsville campus, the 35,000-square-foot facility includes a large open bay space for prefabrication and mock-up work, and other special projects. Students have used the building for hands-on laboratories by conducting much of the interior work for the center. The open laboratory space has also been used to construct houses entered in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competitions in China and California.
This fall, the structure will be home to freshman and senior building construction trades shops, as well as open lab space, state-of-the-art classrooms, and faculty offices. This center was made possible through donations, grants, and the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., which owns the Wellsville campus.
Providing welcoming remarks for the ceremony was Alfred State Vice President for Economic Development Dr. Craig Clark, who gave an overview of the history of the building and thanked the donors who made it possible. He also mentioned that after LeChase Construction constructed the shell of the building, much of the interior work was done by students.
“This is one of our best learning-by-doing projects we’ve ever had on campus,” he said. “The students did all the interior walls, most of the plumbing and heating, all the geothermal connections, and all the lighting and electrical work. There’s not much they didn’t do.”
Next, Alfred State College President Dr. Skip Sullivan said, “This is a day of celebration. As we gather here and look at what has happened here, we recognize that this facility becomes an immediate asset to Alfred State, it becomes an asset for Allegany County, and certainly an asset to our students who will be training inside this building.”
College Council Chair Patricia Fogarty said the Workforce Development Center is a demonstration of the quality of the students that Alfred State recruits, the skill of the faculty, and the skills that the students learn from being at the college. She noted the facility is also part of ASC’s commitment to the students who come to Alfred State, as well as its commitment to the development of Allegany County and all of western New York.
“The last chancellor of SUNY told us that we need to be the economic engine of the state,” she said. “This is a prime example of how Alfred State College is accomplishing this.”
Attending the ceremony on behalf of State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, who secured $150,000 in state funding to help with capital costs, was Julie Schmidt.
Reading aloud a prepared statement from the senator, Schmidt said, “With the finest teachers, a superior curriculum, and this extraordinary hands-on laboratory, the Center will offer students the 21st-century learning they will need to succeed and build a path to a rewarding, secure career. This is a proud moment for Alfred State and an important moment for our region.”
The next speaker, Allegany County Board of Legislators Chairman Curt Crandall, said, “It seems like every time you turn around, there’s something new and exciting happening at Alfred State. Dr. Sullivan mentioned that this building is an asset not only to the campus but to Allegany County, and it’s certainly more than this building. Alfred State, here (in Wellsville) and in Alfred, is certainly a gem for us in Allegany County.”
Daniel E. Mossien, RA, NCARB, of Mossien Architects, PC, noted that he initially began designing the building nearly two decades ago.
“I’ve been working on this since 1999 and I still love it,” he said.
The final speaker was Fred Thompson, vice president of LeChase Construction, who graduated from Alfred State College in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. He said LeChase is proud to have partnered with Alfred State on numerous projects and initiatives over several decades.
“Many graduates from this college have contributed to the overall success of our organization in our 75-year history, and will continue to do so in the future,” he said. “The demand for skilled trades will only increase in the coming years, and facilities like this are going to be critical to the success of our industry.”
After the ribbon was cut, attendees were able to tour the impressive new facility.