By Barbara Bedell
Although the $10 million campaign for Mount Saint Mary College's Dominican Center project has been very successful and is two-thirds of the way toward its goal, there are still funds to be raised, and it is often the final chunk that's the hardest. But optimism reigns supreme, and the center is projected to earn its certificate of occupancy late this year to open in January 2014.
The latest donation was $1 million from Empire State Development Grants. In receiving the news from state Sen. Bill Larkin, the Rev. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, college president, praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo for recognizing the college "as a regional economic engine."
"The construction project alone will employ around 200 New Yorkers," Mackin said.
The project will transform the Dominican Center, a 1927 structure and its grounds, into a 21st-century living and learning center. The five-story, 100,000-square-foot primary structure will accommodate a library/learning commons, a residence hall for approximately 156 students, a dining facility, and the existing Chapel of the Holy Rosary. Other phases of the project include the renovation of space made vacant in Aquinas Hall by the relocation of the library. That space will be used to expand the college's business education.
Mackin also has been named an Irish Education Top 100 honoree for the third consecutive year. Joining him are James Finn Cotter, longtime professor of the English at the Mount, and R. Abel Garraghan, a nine-year college trustee.