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UAlbany Welcomes Campus with Grand Entry Plaza Dedication Celebration

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Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

UAlbany welcomes students, faculty and staff back to campus with the dedication of the new Grand Entry Plaza, which features a walk-through fountain, bench seating and expanded green space.

UAlbany welcomes students, faculty and staff back to campus with the dedication of the new Grand Entry Plaza, which features a walk-through fountain, bench seating and expanded green space.

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 26, 2008) -- The University at Albany welcomed back students, faculty and staff with the dedication of a new $4 million Grand Entry Plaza, designed as a vibrant, central gathering space for visitors and the campus community. The three-acre plaza serves as an inviting gateway to the campus, featuring a park-like setting with expanded green space, ornamental trees and bench seating with Wi-Fi. The main focal point of the new plaza is a spectacular walk-through fountain.

At the dedication celebration, Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari and Assemblymen Jack McEneny and Tim Gordon announced a $5 million provision included in this year's State budget, which is earmarked for future revitalization and improvements projects on the University's campus.

"The new plaza provides a welcoming first impression to prospective students, our campus community, alumni and other University visitors," said Interim President George M. Philip. "It will become a unifying presence and gathering place for the entire campus."

"The beauty of this new entry way is very fitting, as it will serve as the gateway to this fantastic University. It's very exciting to see all of the wonderful improvements that continue to be made across this campus that serves as the academic home to thousands of New Yorkers," said Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari.

The plaza was designed by the internationally renowned landscape architectural firm, Thomas Balsley Associates of New York City. Callanan Industries of Albany carried out the transformation of the space.

"The celebratory space was conceived as a design bridge between the modernist Podium and Collins Circle, while enhancing 21st century campus life with elements that foster daily activity," said landscape architect Thomas Balsley. "We are delighted to have contributed to this first great leap forward in campus place making."

The project was part of a larger $25 million provision in the 2006-2007 New York State budget -- secured through the help of New York State Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari and his colleagues in the Assembly Majority.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 56 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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