Assembly Speaker Heastie & Assemblywoman Lupardo announce intention to secure funding
(BINGHAMTON, NY) – With rehabilitation work underway, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joined Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo at the former Carnegie Library in Binghamton to announce his intentions to nominate additional funding for the project. Speaker Heastie will seek $1.5 million in Assembly State and Municipal Facilities (SAM) grant funding to help complete the SUNY Broome Culinary Arts & Events Center at the historic Exchange St. building.
“The Assembly Majority is proud to invest in projects that help transform our communities and promote economic growth,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “This facility will help shine a spotlight on all that Binghamton has to offer and ensure the region’s culinary and hospitality industries can continue to grow and thrive. I am proud to work Assemblymember Lupardo to help make this dream a reality for this community.”
“Local food is a main focus of our regional economy,” Lupardo said. “With new restaurants, cafés, and craft breweries popping up throughout Downtown and the region, the Culinary Arts Center will play an important role. It will also attract numerous visitors who will want to experience this unique space. I’d like to thank the Speaker for recognizing the importance of making this type of investment.”
The NYS Assembly previously committed $5 million to the project as part of the 2015-16 State Budget. Built in 1904 with financial support from Andrew Carnegie, the historic building was home to the Broome County Public Library until 2000. It sat empty until SUNY Broome announced its intentions to house its new Culinary Arts & Events Center there.
“SUNY Broome will return to its historic downtown roots when the former Broome County Library reopens next fall transformed into our Culinary Arts & Events Center,” said SUNY Broome President Dr. Kevin Drumm. “The region will have a stunningly beautiful new downtown magnet when it opens. We want to thank Assemblywoman Lupardo for her steadfast and passionate support for this exciting project, also Empire State Development and SUNY Capital. We also appreciate Speaker Heastie’s support in helping us to secure the gap funding for wrapping up the project,” said Kevin Drumm, SUNY Broome President.
“Thank you to our state leaders and partners who have worked tremendously to make this a reality,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “With this project, SUNY Broome is expanding its footprint in Broome County, preserving a historical landmark and bringing an incredible opportunity to its students through the culinary arts and hospitality programs.”
The center will include production kitchens, a lecture hall for cooking demonstrations, a beverage lab for mixology classes, a computer lab, a dining room fabrication lab for the events management program, a proposed community education cooking studio, event space, lounge areas, and office space.