DASNY Hosts MWBE/SDVOB Networking Event at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Dr. Bushell Delivers Remarks at MWBE/SDVOB Networking Event at RIT.
Dr. Bushell Delivers Remarks at MWBE/SDVOB Networking Event at RIT.

Thank you, and welcome. I am thrilled to see so many of you here today. Thank you to Deborah Stendardi for the warm introduction, and everyone at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for hosting this event.

It is good to be here. DASNY has a long history with this institution. We have issued nearly 600 million dollars in bonds on behalf of RIT over the course of our decades-long partnership with more to come. Thank you, Dr. James Watters, for your assistance over the years in helping so many of those transactions cross the finish line.

Those financings have paved the way for the construction of residence halls, athletic facilities, classrooms, and the academic building that houses the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Issuances have also helped pay for construction of the ice arena, as well as the expansion and renovation of health and science facilities on campus.

We are here today because the State is taking bold steps towards equal opportunity. DASNY takes pride in advancing an agenda that empowers women and minorities; and values disabled veteran business owners who have served our great country.

Diversity is crucial to our mission. Governor Cuomo has set a high bar with a 30 percent Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation rate on all state contracts. We are proud to say we have not only proven we can meet it, but we can and will exceed it. And we have done it right here in the Finger Lakes.

Our Work with SUNY

Just last summer a half an hour northwest of here, we reached 32 percent MWBE participation when we successfully delivered a $24 million, 263-bed design-build residence hall at the College at Brockport. DASNY exceeded this goal because we integrated MWBE participation earlier in the process. We also completed construction on that project in just 13 months.

Working with MWBE firms and hiring minorities, women and veterans strengthens our market position, which in turn creates competition and lowers costs, helping expand and grow New York’s economy. We are at our best when we are inclusive for all.

Currently underway just over an hour south of here at SUNY Alfred, we are completing the second phase of an $18 million project to renovate the College of Technology’s MacKenzie Complex. There, we are incorporating many sustainable elements as we renovate the South and East Wings of the complex, which is the largest residence hall on campus and houses 11-hundred students.

The work includes the addition of a tankless water heating system, energy-saving LED lights, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and upgraded ventilation systems that use energy recovery technology. Bids will be received this fall for the $14 million third phase this complex.

The nearly $18 million Phase One part of the MacKenzie project was well-received and students have already moved into the 132-bed section of the residence hall. We expect to reach the 30 percent MWBE participation benchmark on this project, equaling the Governor’s high bar set for all state contracts.

Additionally, we have just begun approximately $60 million in upgrades to SUNY campuses throughout New York State. This includes $11 million in Western NY projects at Buffalo State, the University at Buffalo, Alfred State, the College at Brockport, and SUNY Geneseo. This annual work is completed by DASNY during the summer months – ready in time for students to begin the fall semester.

DASNY is proud to work with all our partners in higher education to ensure New York’s campuses have comfortable and secure, energy efficient facilities that will provide students the environment they need to achieve success.

Our Work with OMH & OPWDD

I am also pleased to lead DASNY as we support state efforts to provide high-quality services to some of New York’s most vulnerable citizens.

We are currently in design for a $30 million addition and renovation project for the State Office of Mental Health at the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in Buffalo. Bids for this project are expected to be requested next year. The project will add 48-thousand square feet to the facility, providing a welcoming, bright, and therapeutic environment to the children it serves.

Similarly, this fall we will be receiving bids for projects at the Rochester Psychiatric Center totaling $1.4 million. With an additional $10 million worth of projects to be completed for our partners at the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

These projects provide a robust safety net for state residents in need. They strengthen our communities and make them an attractive place to do business. You will learn more about these projects later this afternoon.

NYS Life Sciences Public Health Laboratory

DASNY is a key player in Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking life sciences initiative, and will be overseeing the design and construction of the recently-announced New York State Life Sciences Public Health Laboratory. Located in New York State’s Capital Region, the lab will function as a magnet for future private-sector investments.

An RFQ has already been issued for this exciting project. You will be able to find that on our website, DASNY dot org.  It is expected to attract approximately 1,200 life sciences jobs and generate about $2.3 billion in economic activity for the region over the life of the project. You will have the chance to learn more about this project from our DASNY team in just a bit.

Energy Work

DASNY is also working to advance Governor Cuomo’s statewide energy goal to build a clean energy future for all of New York State. We are doing so by expanding our energy performance contracting offerings, enabling clients to pay for needed facility improvements with the energy savings generated from these upgrades.

DASNY’s new energy-saving program, for which we currently have an open procurement, will help DASNY clients reduce their environmental impacts and operating costs. Through this program, DASNY will offer a turn-key solution to both public and private clients to finance, design, and build capital projects that save energy through a combination of DASNY’s Tax-Exempt Equipment Leasing Program, (TELP) and our procurement and construction services.

SUNY Poly/Oneonta

Consistent with our focus on reducing energy usage and costs, we just broke ground earlier this month at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica to construct a new “zero-net energy-ready” $33.5 million, 257-bed residence hall. This means in addition to meeting or exceeding existing energy codes, the infrastructure for future energy performance systems will be built in place.

We are also working with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to construct a design-build, zero-net energy-ready retrofit residence hall project at SUNY Oneonta. This retrofit will be a model for future sustainable residence hall renovations throughout the SUNY system. A request for qualifications has been issued – you can find it on DASNY dot org. The project is set to begin in the summer of 2020.

Key Supporter

No matter what the project, DASNY brings an intentionality to sustainability and resiliency, and works to make sure whether it is through financing or construction, our buildings are outfitted with the most up-to-date technology. Regardless of the project or delivery method, its size or how it is procured, we remain committed to contracting with MWBEs and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs).

DASNY is a key supporter of New York State as it takes bold steps towards equal opportunity, and our commitment to diversity is evident in every project we undertake. Thank you for joining us today and for your continued partnership.