November 07, 2012
Herkimer County Community College officially dedicated the new Edward Manning and Shirley Augar Gaynor Science Center before an audience of more than 130 faculty, staff, administrators, board members, donors and business and community leaders on Friday, November 2, 2012.
The ceremony celebrated the completion of the 2.8 million dollar project resulting in five new state-of-the-art science laboratories, a greenhouse and preparation room, as well as a new heating and cooling system and roof for Johnson Hall.
Remarks were delivered by Congressman Richard Hanna, NYS Senator James Seward, Assemblyman Marc Butler, and Herkimer County Legislature Chair Vincent J. Bono. Assistant director of communications and development for the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Myron Thurston, III, a 1999 graduate of HCCC, spoke about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and how the new labs at HCCC will have a positive impact for the students and community. Special guest speaker, Johanna Duncan-Poitier, senior vice chancellor for community colleges for the State University of New York, complimented the College and all those who helped make the project possible, stating that that the new Science Center rivals those she has seen at other institutions.
The Herkimer County College Foundation completed a successful Elements Campaign to raise the local share of funding for the project. The other fifty percent was secured through matching funds from New York State.
The science wing is named for the late Edward Manning Gaynor Jr. and Shirley Augar Gaynor, prominent residents of Cooperstown, NY, whose $300,000 gift was made in trust to the Herkimer County College Foundation and directed to the Elements Campaign. Other major contributors included the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., M&T Bank, as well as the Herkimer County College Foundation and the College sponsor, Herkimer County.
Special recognition was given to the Board of Trustees chairman Donald Snyder who was instrumental in securing the gift from the Gaynor Trust. “It was his counsel that led to this very generous gift to our Foundation,” said HCC Foundation President Frank Kapusta. Snyder addressed the audience with a heart-felt speech about the Gaynors and said they would be very proud of how their legacy lives on in this Science Center.
Architects from CSArch, including HCCC alumnus Randy Collins, were recognized for their design and management of the project.
HCCC offers an associate degree in science with concentrations to prepare students to transfer to four-year colleges for biology, chemistry, chiropractic, environmental and natural resources conservation, environmental science and forestry, forest technology, nursing, pre-nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, physics, radiologic technology, and science education. HCCC students majoring in A.S. or A.A. degree programs such as accounting, criminal justice, general studies and physical education also are required to complete laboratory science courses.