Governor Deval Patrick today made two announcements that will create opportunity and growth for residents in central Massachusetts. At Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), a new general academic building will support the campus's growing enrollment, and a new state-of-the-art Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) maintenance facility will support the region's public transportation needs. The Governor made today's announcements during remarks to the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
"Growth requires investment, and investments in our community college campuses and our public transportation needs will help catalyze growth in Worcester and beyond," said Governor Patrick. "If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well."
The $15.9 million 50,000 square foot new General Academic Building at Quinsigamond Community College will meet the campus's needs for additional academic space and will create a more accessible campus by linking Suprenant Hall and the Harrington Learning Center, including a lobby space on the campus quad and a pass-through connection to Hebert Auditorium. The Administration is also working with QCC to design a new Science and Technology building - a $23.1 million capital project that will serve many campus needs including: providing modern science and technology instructional space; creating a home base for the Honors Center; and constructing the Center for Academic Excellence. In 2012, Governor Patrick signed into law reforms that will unify the Commonwealth's community college system to better align with workforce needs and close the "skills gap" that leaves good jobs unfilled.
"The phenomenal announcement by Governor Patrick of funding for this new facility arrives on our 50th Anniversary when we are at a peak in our enrollment," said President of Quinsigamond Community College Gail E. Carberry. "QCC looks forward to a second half-century meeting the educational and workforce needs of the residents of Central Massachusetts using this new facility. On behalf of our students, faculty, and staff, we are most appreciative."
"The Patrick Administration has made investing in public higher education a top priority," said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. "These strategic investments create construction jobs today and prepare our students to be the skilled workforce we need to fill the jobs of tomorrow."
The Governor also announced a $14 million commitment to fill a necessary funding gap to construct the new WRTA maintenance facility on Quinsigamond Avenue near Compton Park. The facility is being funded through a federal TIGER grant, but the additional funding is needed to clean up the future site of the maintenance facility. The 11-acre site, currently owned by NStar, is contaminated and in need of significant cleanup. The new 21st century facility will feature charging stations for electric buses and solar panels. It will replace the current maintenance facility on Grove Street and better support the region's growing public transportation needs.
"Investing in our infrastructure is vitally important to the growth of Central Massachusetts and the new WRTA facility will not only support access to opportunity for Worcester area residents, but will do so in a state of the art, environmentally-friendly way," said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey.
Recently, the Patrick Administration, with the help of federal funding, completed a new state-of-the-art WRTA building, positioning the WRTA to offer robust service to its riders by leveraging new technology, energy efficient vehicles, on-site customer service and amenities, along with seamless transportation options provided at Union Station. Bringing the WRTA hub to Union Station has streamlined the city's transportation network, connecting people from across Central Massachusetts to a world class transportation hub and bringing foot traffic to downtown Worcester. Three years ago, the Administration broke ground on CitySquare, which is considered one of the largest post-urban renewal downtown redevelopment efforts in Massachusetts history. In 2012, the Patrick Administration completed work on the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, which is first psychiatric facility built by the Commonwealth since the 1950s.
Last week, Governor Patrick announced four historic transportation infrastructure investments that will stimulate economic growth and opportunity for commuters, residents and businesses throughout greater Boston, enhance accessibility and ease traffic and congestion. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will launch a $1.3 billion program to replace and increase the capacity of the Red Line and Orange Line trains, the Massachusetts Turnpike will be fitted with all electronic, open road tolling, design and permitting will begin immediately to rebuild and straighten the route of the I-90/Massachusetts Turnpike in Allston and the Clayton Street Bridge in Dorchester will be replaced over Veterans Day weekend. Earlier this month, the Governor also announced significant public higher education investments on the North Shore to expand growth and opportunity for students and residents throughout the region. At Salem State University, $32.9 million in capital funding will modernize and expand Meier Hall to prepare students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition, $20.7 million in capital funding will expand and modernize North Shore Community College's Lynn Campus to accommodate additional student services and classrooms to prepare students for workforce needs.
Monday's announcement is part of a series of events the Governor will hold in the coming weeks to demonstrate the types of investments his Administration is making in every region of the Commonwealth to expand growth and opportunity to all of our residents. The schedule of events for October is as follows:
October 29: Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
October 30: Chelsea Growth and Opportunity event
October 31: Fall River and New Bedford Chamber of Commerce