The old boathouse at Syracuse’s Inner Harbor is the place where two local SUNY Universities learned they would be getting $20 million to expand educational programs on Onondaga Lake. Governor Cuomo made the announcement and explains it will support college programs focused on job training. “Identify the job and the dream for that job. That’s what OCC does which is exactly right. ESF, water research and quality, it’s going to work for the lake, but it also has commercial applications. We put a startup zone together with it and now you have education, entrepreneurship, in a no-tax environment that’s working on a clean economy.”
The SUNY Water Research and Education Center, according to SUNY ESF President Quentin Wheeler, will be a dedicated space for students studying Onondaga Lake’s ecology.
“This facility will be wonderful because it will be a modern place where our students and faculty can conduct research on Onondaga Lake and share their findings in real time with the public. We’re going to have a floating classroom where you can go out and learn about science first-hand and public exhibit space and research and classroom space.”
Wheeler says SUNY ESF will also be partnering with LeMoyne College and Onondaga Community College.
OCC President Doctor Casey Craybill says the college courses won’t exclusively focus on science and the environment.
“We’ll be able to bring almost anything down here so the management proportion of our hospitality management program, very easily taught in a space like this. Business administration, it could be a history course, depending on the needs of the community, we’ll be able to bring our programming into this facility.” The timing of today’s funding announcement by Governor Cuomo in Syracuse comes as his re-election campaign is getting into full swing. He is running against Republican Rob Astorino and the Green Party's Howie Hawkins.