The state budget may be done, but the legislature still needs to divvy up funds for the State University of New York’s capital needs — a pie that will include about $1 billion.
A slice of that must be saved for Farmingdale State College.
Farmingdale needs $53 million for a 40,000-square-foot academic building. Without a new building, the college’s classrooms will remain packed, and there will be no room to grow. With a new building, Farmingdale could add 1,000 full- and part-time students to its enrollment of more than 10,000. The building would provide a home for key departments like applied psychology, applied economics and geographic information systems. Students in those specialties graduate with skills and knowledge local employers are seeking.
This is a critical investment, not only for the popular school, but also for Long Island’s future. About 80 percent of Farmingdale’s recent graduates work in the region and live on Long Island. That’s why Farmingdale is critical to growing the Island’s skilled job base and, in turn, the region’s economy.
The three-story building already is designed, and a site has been chosen. State Sen. John Brooks, himself a Farmingdale graduate, has taken the lead on the issue, saying it will be his top priority. Assembly members Steve Stern and Kimberly Jean-Pierre whose districts include the college and the surrounding area, must push, too.
So far, Brooks says he hasn’t gotten pushback on the request.
But he hasn’t gotten full support, either.
Long Island needs a vibrant Farmingdale State College, and that means state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo need to commit to its future. — The editorial board