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NY Budgets $68M for SUNY Buffalo School of Engineering

Gov. Kathy Hochul's 2023 state budget will cover two-thirds of the cost of a new building intended to grow the local STEM workforce through research in A.I., quantum science, advanced materials and other fields.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will face no minor party challengers this fall. (TNS)
(TNS) — Gov. Kathy Hochul has launched a $102 million project to create a new building housing the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Funding for the project includes a $68 million commitment from the FY 2023 State Budget. The new building will house UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and allow the university to meet increased enrollment demand while also fostering the growth of the state's STEM workforce.

"As one of SUNY's flagship universities, we are investing in the University at Buffalo to make it a world-class research institution to create an ecosystem of technology and advancement," Hochul said. "These investments are key to driving economic revenue by attracting companies to New York's emerging advanced research centers, fostering the growth of jobs in STEM, and strengthening communities for decades to come."

In the past 10 years alone, undergraduate student enrollment at the school has increased by 60 percent, and graduate student enrollment has grown by 110 percent. Last fall, the school enrolled a record 7,401 students.

The engineering building will be located on the university's North Campus in Amherst. It will further solidify UB's place among the nation's premier public research universities. The building will also help UB increase and diversify the state's STEM workforce, and it will drive economic development through scholarly research and innovation in artificial intelligence, quantum science, advanced materials and other transformative fields, according to a release from the state.

The building will feature an "engineering commons," which will include collaborative spaces for student clubs as well as maker space, student support services, and programs that support the formation of startup companies and other entrepreneurial activities.

Through UB's planned expansion, the university will also be able to recruit and retain more students from underrepresented backgrounds, a priority to diversify classes of engineering students. UB regularly collaborates with community organizations to help prepare middle and high school students for STEM fields and prospective careers. Through programs like Tech Savvy, UB provides daylong STEM career conferences designed to attract girls to these fields and to inform families about STEM education and careers. Among other partnerships, UB works with National Grid and Westminster Community Charter School to offer STEM mentoring programs, including hands-on science experiments at UB together with in-classroom science lessons.

SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, "Once completed, the building will be home to one of the fastest growing programs at UB and serve as an innovation hub for our STEM students and the next generation of brilliant and pioneering individuals to follow. My thanks to Governor Hochul, Assembly Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes, Senator Kennedy, and the entirety of the State Assembly and Senate for their significant investment in state-of-the-art facilities and entrepreneurial opportunities for New York students."

©2022 the Niagara Gazette (Niagara Falls, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.