Corning Community College cut the ribbon to officially open its new health education center Wednesday.
Jeff Murray / Staff video
Wednesday marked a new chapter for both health education in the Southern Tier and the vitality of the City of Corning, according to officials who took part in the official opening of the new Corning Community College Health Education Center.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul joined state and local government officials and business leaders Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 21,000-square-foot, three-story facility on Denison Parkway.
The new building is across the street from the site of the former Corning Hospital, which was razed to make room for new apartments and other development, and kitty corner from Corning City Hall.
“This area was in decline. I’m from Buffalo so I know what decline looks like,” Hochul told the crowd.
“This is something I hear over and over again from employers — not having workers with the skills they need for jobs that are being created,” she said. “People are finding work. That creates more pressure for employers to find people with the right skills. We will create the jobs but you need to teach them the skills. That’s what this building represents.”
The health education center allows for larger class sizes and greater enrollment in nursing and other medical fields.
It features a mix of classroom and office space, along with a 21st Century simulation lab that ensures all students have hands-on training in medical care.
“Today marks the culmination of an idea that started three years ago. The redevelopment of this site was made possible by several partnerships,” said Garrett Hoover, president of Guthrie Corning Hospital. “Revitalizing the city is important to all of us but this partnership is about more. It’s about (improving) lives.”
Hoover also expressed hope that graduates of the program would come to work for Corning Hospital.
The project is also an important step in re-energizing downtown Corning, said Mayor Rich Negri.
“This site was once an old gas station purchased by Corning Hospital about 20 years ago. The move to the new Corning Hospital presented a wonderful opportunity to redevelop this site for a better purpose,” Negri said. “Corning Community College is an outstanding institution and this building on Denison Parkway helps bring the institution closer to downtown.”
David Riedman, president of Riedman Companies, which built the health education center and is also developing the former Corning Hospital site, noted that the start date for the project kept moving back, but that construction had to be complete before classes begin later this month.
The entire construction phase was completed in 11 months, Riedman said.
The opening of the new health education center is a perfect way to help Corning Community College celebrate a significant milestone, said college President Katherine Douglas.
“This is only the beginning of not only what will happen in this building, but will help CCC with the celebration of our 60th anniversary,” Douglas said.
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