Capital Region business leaders tour future home of UAlbany's engineering school

December 6, 2016 -- Business leaders from across the Capital Region on Tuesday got a glimpse inside the future home of UAlbany's new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences -- the 112-year-old Schuyler Building in the heart of Albany.

The tour began in the basement, the future site of the college's "makerspace" for aspiring entrepreneurs, and ended on third floor, where a balcony offers striking views of the former Albany High School's 1,000-seat auditorium, which is the largest anywhere on campus.

One of the goals of CEAS is to position UAlbany as a pipeline to supply well-trained engineers from diverse backgrounds to a Capital Region job market in which the demand for engineers is expected to swell by 27 percent during the current decade. Research and experiential learning partnerships with local businesses will be key elements of that training.

In June, UAlbany was approved to provide the region's first public option for computer engineering, the first of a handful of undergraduate and graduate programs that will also include electrical, mechanical, environmental and bioengineering. CEAS is built on UAlbany's existing strengths in computer and information science.

UAlbany bought the Classical Revival building on North Lake Avenue from the Albany City School District in 2013. The Schuyler Building is adjacent to the University's existing Downtown Campus and expands its square-footage by some 40 percent.

The University plans a $60 million renovation of the Schuyler Building into a state-of-the-art engineering school in which more than 1,100 students, faculty and researchers will work collaboratively with entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize engineering solutions to society's most pressing problems.

Business leaders on Tuesday's tour included representatives of the Business Council of New York State, the Center for Economic Growth, the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce, Empire State Development, the Capital District Black Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.