Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Binghamton University unveils growth plan for NY SUNY 2020 Challenge

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Binghamton University unveils growth plan for NY SUNY 2020 Challenge
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Monday, BU unveiled a plan it says will help the university play an even bigger role in helping to revitalize the area's economy. Our Carmen Perez has more on the university's proposal for the New York SUNY 2020 Grant Challenge program

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- The University's proposal for the New York SUNY2020 grant program is ambitious, but university leaders say it has to be done.

"We set the bar very high for ourselves often," said James Van Voorst, the Vice President of Administration at Binghamton University.

There are three parts to Binghamton University's proposal. Just a few items on the agenda are increasing enrollment by at least 2,000 students, building state of the art facilities and establishing an economic development center in downtown Binghamton.

"We believe we can take the leading role and push for this area and New York State the economic development that we have all been looking for," said Van Voorst.

A big part BU's aggressive plan includes bringing more jobs to the community, which they say they've already started with projects like this multi-million dollar campus project.

"The east campus housing is a $340 million project. That is a lot of money in this area for contractors, construction and materials, everything just off that," said Van Voorst.

Officials say they are ready for the challenge this plan brings.

"Yes, it is an aggressive plan no doubt about it, but that is how you achieve good things. You set the bar high and you go for it," Van Voorst said.

Leaders say they are well on their way toward expanding the university, which they say will go a long way toward growing the local economy.

The 2020 Challenge allows BU and the other SUNY university centers to apply for $35 million in state grant funds. The next step for the University is to outline its plan for the Cuomo administration

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