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New York, New Paltz, New Labs

Georgina Johnston
04 Dec 2019

SUNY New Paltz, Urbahn Architects, and PC Construction Complete the $13.5m, 19,500 sq ft Engineering Innovation Hub

The State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, Urbahn Architects, and PC Construction have completed the new Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH) building. This two-story, 19,500 sq ft facility houses the college’s relatively new and highly popular bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering and includes innovative teaching and research lab spaces, as well as the school’s Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC).

The new building was made possible by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY2020 Challenge Grant competition, in which SUNY New Paltz was awarded $10 million to support academic programs that will translate directly into the economic development of the New York State. The College also received $1 million through the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual Consolidated Funding Application.

Today’s opening of the Engineering Innovation Hub at SUNY New Paltz is another great example of the growth of our high-tech sector in the Mid-Hudson Valley that will result in jobs and economic expansions throughout the region.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The $13.5 million, 19,500 sq ft EIH houses faculty research and teaching labs, and state-of-the-art 3D print prototyping labs to support the engineering program and the work of companies partnering with SUNY New Paltz and HVAMC. The building is designed to meet a LEED Silver sustainability certification.

The new hub will support and diversify the College’s rapidly growing engineering programs, and foster collaboration between the college and local industry. This investment is projected to yield a regional economic impact of more than $75 million, and approximately 195 jobs, in a period of over ten years. The Engineering Innovation Hub will significantly aid SUNY New Paltz in educating engineering students who will provide technological leadership in the Hudson Valley. It will also assist the wide variety of regional companies that make use of our state-of-the-art 3D printing technology and expert staff.

The HVAMC’s collection of 3D printers constitutes some of the most advanced technology at any academic laboratory in the United States. The College is the first institution of higher education in the nation to be designated a Stratasys-MakerBot Additive Research & Teaching or SMART lab by Stratasys, the world’s leading 3D printing hardware and systems company. 

The building, located within SUNY New Paltz’s main campus, was erected on a former parking lot near the existing engineering building, Resnick Hall. Urbahn has designed the EIH to allow for a potential expansion to the east, if the program’s growth requires more space in the future.  

The steel-frame building with spread footing and a slab-on-grade foundation was designed in a manner that eliminated the need for extensive and costly rock excavation that is typical for construction projects in the Catskill Mountains region. EIH’s ground floor lobby is wrapped in a glass storefront and glazed curtain wall systems to allow natural light into the area. The lobby serves as a collaborative study and social space with extensive white board surfaces, where students can learn outside the classroom setting.

The highlight of the building’s architecture is a cubic form that perches over the entrance plaza. The textured, dark gray cube, with a luminous, bright red metal soffit above the entrance and a backdrop of lighter forms, announces the building as an important presence on the campus. It relates to neighboring buildings and opens up views to a quad, diagonally opposite to it. The exterior walls feature a rainscreen system with high-performance concrete panels in two colors, light and dark gray. The light gray portions will be smooth, while the dark gray sections will feature textured panels. The rainscreen has a stud backup.

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