Governor Deval Patrick today made three announcements relative to investments in infrastructure and education that will stimulate growth and opportunity in the MetroWest area. Governor Patrick announced additional funding for the renovation and expansion of Hemenway Hall at Framingham State University, which will include additional science lab space and a modern Center for Education and Teaching Excellence and committed to making MassBay Community College's Framingham campus a reality. The Governor also announced a $1.6 million award to support roadway, pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Simarano Drive in Marlborough's Southwest Quadrant, supporting already robust private sector investment in the area. Governor Patrick made today's announcements while speaking to the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce in Hopkinton.
"Growth requires investment, and investing in our state and community colleges and our infrastructure will create growth in our MetroWest communities," said Governor Patrick. "If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well."
Hemenway Hall at Framingham State University, when finished, will create a new, five-story science laboratory. The addition will provide students and faculty with state-of-the-art teaching labs to train tomorrow's science teachers, as well as increased accessibility on campus. The new building will also enable Framingham State to keep pace with other leading institutions of higher education that demand more research space, specialized classrooms and the ability to take advantage of developments in technology. The Governor announced today an additional $9.3 million to be put towards the renovations.
"Access to first-rate facilities is a critical component to an outstanding STEM education," said Framingham State University Interim President Robert Martin. "This funding will allow us to upgrade and outfit our existing math and science classrooms and labs and complete our Hemenway Hall renovation and addition as we envisioned it several years ago. We are grateful to Governor Patrick and his Administration for their support of this important project."
Governor Patrick today also committed to moving MassBay Community College's Framingham campus off the drawing board and into reality. Last year, the Patrick Administration provided $22 million for the project and is working with the Legislature to fill the additional funding gap.
"We are grateful for these critical funds as we move MassBay Community College forward," said MassBay President John O'Donnell. "We are poised to expand our programs, services and capacity to meet the needs of the vibrant Framingham and MetroWest communities we serve. We are grateful for the support of Governor Patrick and all our partners in his Administration, the Legislature and the MetroWest community."
A $1.6 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program award announced today will support roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Simarano Drive in Marlborough's Southwest Quadrant. The area is continuing to expand and grow as companies such as TJX Companies Inc. and Quest Diagnostics expand in the area. These critical infrastructure improvements will support additional housing units, a new hotel and more retail and dining space for residents and workers.
"We remain committed to working with local communities, like Marlborough, to help identify opportunities to maximize growth and spur regional development," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. "I look forward to our ongoing partnership with city officials and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth throughout the community and region."
Following his speech at the Chamber, Governor Patrick will tour Quest Diagnostic's 200,000 square foot "blood lab" space in Marlborough, which is expected to be completed in April 2014. The lab is part the first phase of a larger project supported by a strong private-public partnership to redevelop the former Hewlett-Packard and Fidelity Investment sites into a new mixed-use, multifamily development. Also included in the first phase of the redevelopment, which is well underway, will include 730,000 square feet of office and research and design space, 350 luxury rental units, and a three story, 125 room hotel. The second phase of the project will include the construction of 50,000 square feet of retail space, a 250,000 square foot office building, and a 900 space parking structure. The entire project is estimated to create 475 construction jobs between both the commercial and residential components.
These announcements build upon the Patrick Administration's dedication to stimulating growth in the MetroWest region through investments education, innovation and infrastructure. Framingham State University has seen an impressive rise in graduation rates, increasing 8.9 percent between fall 2007 and fall 2012.
The Patrick Administration has partnered with the private sector to train over 16,000 workers and job seekers throughout the MetroWest since 2007. A $3 million tax credit to Natick's MathWorks will allow the company to expand to a new facility, create 600 new jobs and retain 1,818 jobs. The total private investment is projected at nearly $113 million. Over $2 million has been awarded to MetroWest early stage life science companies that will leverage private investments and grow jobs. They include: Arch Therapeutics in Natick, Christcot Medical Company in Sudbury, MedicaMetrix, Inc. in Wayland and Wadsworth Medical Technologies in Westborough.
The arrival of The TJX Companies, Quest Diagnostics, and Avalon Bay to Simarano Drive follows the blueprint of innovative, mixed-use developments championed by the Patrick Administration, " said Malborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant. "The City of Marlborough is thrilled to have been awarded a 2013 MassWorks Grant. Our project represents a true partnership of city, state, and private entities working together to create more jobs and generate sustainable economic growth.
"It is exciting to see so many innovative ideas and aspirations for our district come to fruition," said Representative Thomas Conroy. "Governor Patrick's investment in the MetroWest community will undoubtedly help our local businesses across several sectors to create jobs, develop new technologies, and generate revenue for our commonwealth's economy for years to come."
"I want to thank Governor Patrick for announcing a $1.6 million MassWorks grant today to upgrade Simarano Drive in Marlborough, including sidewalk & bike lane improvements that will improve the quality of life for Marlborough residents," said Senator Jamie Eldridge. I also applaud Mayor Vigeant for his vision realizing how this state investment will benefit the Metrowest economy as a whole."
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has invested over $12 million to support a multi-phased wastewater system to serve Framingham's Technology Park. As a result, Genzyme has been able to undertake an $80 million large-scale expansion project at the park and is creating 389 biomanufacturing jobs.
Construction is scheduled to begin this winter on Route 126 to replace the roundabout at Concord and Union Avenue in Framingham. This project will fix Framingham's chronic traffic issue that has stunted development in downtown. Construction will start early next year on Kansas Street in Natick, which will strengthen the security entrance of the U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center -- improving access to and from the base. The Patrick Administration is also currently working to replace the Houghton Street Bridge over the Assabet River in Hudson, with construction scheduled to be completed this spring.
Additional congestion improvements will take place on Route 9 in Natick and Wellesley, and an all-electronic tolling system will be implemented next year to reduce commuter traffic on the Mass Pike. Starting later this fall, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail increase its round trips on the Worcester Commuter Line to 20 times a day.
Today's announcements are part of a series of events the Governor is holding throughout the fall 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.