ENR/DASNY Higher Education Conference

 Asm. Rodneyse Bichotte, (D) 42nd District and Gerrard P. Bushell, DASNY President & CEO.
Asm. Rodneyse Bichotte, (D) 42nd District and Gerrard P. Bushell, DASNY President & CEO.
DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell Keynote Address

(October 25, 2017) Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. I know each and every one of you is very busy. There is an enormous amount of work taking place right here in New York City. Much of it is the result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic investment in infrastructure.

The Governor is driving a plan to breathe new life into the infrastructure that serves as the foundation of our economy. LaGuardia and JFK are being reimagined. Just down the street, the work to transform Penn Station into a world class gateway is underway. The Javits Center is growing and getting a new look.

DASNY is proud to support these important projects. They are essential to maintaining the stature, attractiveness and competitiveness of our city and our state.

They are also major investments in our state’s infrastructure that are essential to the futures of our preeminent public and private colleges and universities. These institutions are the engines driving our economy into the 21st Century. At DASNY, we serve as the bridge between the State of New York and New York’s colleges and universities as their financier and builder.

From our vantage point, we can see how public infrastructure and campuses are deeply connected. Through the lens of our more than 50-year partnership with CUNY and SUNY, and partnerships with private institutions such as New York University, Columbia University, and Vassar College, we can also see that as the greater New York City region is changing, they are changing with it.

Once insulated, campuses are building new infrastructure to reflect their openness to the surrounding community. They are realigning their missions to strengthen their roles as economic engines, particularly as they advance scientific, medical, and technological research.

Colleges and universities are joining the Governor in creating opportunities for minority, women and locally owned firms. They are reducing the amount of waste from construction projects that would otherwise be deposited in our landfills. They are building infrastructure that reduces energy consumption, and creates healthier living and working environments. 

Each and every one of us in this room has a valuable role to play in working with these institutions to help them meet their goals. Together, we are creating inclusive, sustainable communities that can adapt and compete on the global stage for jobs.

At DASNY, we are seizing the opportunity to evolve to meet the needs of our campus partners. We are delivering One DASNY, a complete integration of our resources in finance, design and construction. As One DASNY, we are collaborating to leverage our entire organization. Through One DASNY, the institutions DASNY serves are partnering with a full complement of resources to enhance capital project delivery and maximize results.

One DASNY is already providing our clients with enhanced flexibility through a hybrid financing strategy that mixes tax-exempt and taxable bonds for projects that incorporate private use.

We partnered with NYU to deploy the strategy last year in an $829 million issuance to finance and build projects using the lowest cost of capital, and create the opportunity to incorporate private users.

Some of the taxable bonds included in the issue are being used to establish space for start-up companies at NYU’s new technology and arts integrative center at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn. It joins Columbia’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center and CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center in a science and research corridor supported by DASNY.

One DASNY is expanding use of alternative construction delivery methods. Last year, the DASNY Board approved construction manager build, adding to our tool box which already included construction manager at risk. These methods apply a qualifications-based selection process to speed project delivery and reduce risks. 

We are applying these alternatives in particular to support our partners in public higher education – CUNY and SUNY. By getting their assets online faster, DASNY is helping them deliver opportunity for their students. 

This includes the creation of a new design-build contract that can be applied to SUNY campuses. The contract has been executed for a $21 million residence hall at The College at Brockport near Rochester. This is a game changer. With design-build we are delivering one of our fastest residence hall projects ever.

One DASNY is helping cut costs by combining the low-cost financing provided by our Tax-Exempt Leasing Program with our ability to purchase and procure systems. This integration enhances access to capital while connecting clients with DASNY’s rapid procurement ability and volume savings.

Like other SUNY institutions across the state, Monroe Community College enlisted DASNY to provide interior design and purchasing services for its new downtown campus. DASNY executed the work with 50 percent MWBE participation. By also coming in under the $10 million budget, we strengthened our relationship as an extension of their staff.  We are supporting Monroe Community College as it develops the workforce that Rochester needs to continue its advance into photonics and other technology.

One DASNY is working to expand partnerships with institutions. As institutions across New York State reinvigorate and realign their infrastructure, DASNY is available to support their people, resources and projects.

Just up the Hudson River,  Vassar College is executing a master plan to reduce energy use and reorganize campus assets. We want to be sure institutions across New York such as Vassar understand that all of DASNY’s resources are their resources, too. 

One DASNY is also creating efficiencies within our organization to speed our pace of business. For each of you, this means a more responsive organization with greater flexibility. It means that when you work with DASNY, you have a partner who can help you reach higher in your own execution.

We have already delivered an electronic payment system. We are enhancing our use of technology on the job site. We are reworking our contracts to speed project delivery and reduce risk.

These efficiencies and improvements in turn help all of us deliver for our clients. All of us here today share the goal of providing the very best service. One DASNY is our pathway for achieving that goal.

As we deliver on One DASNY – as we leverage all of our resources to deliver for our clients and the New Yorkers they serve – we are reaching higher than ever. We are supporting higher education institutions in their transformations. We are supporting them in achieving their goals.

DASNY cannot do it alone. We rely on all of you and your partnership. We look forward to working with you as we continue to make New York State a great place to live, work, and learn. Thank you.