Students Get First Glimpse of State-of-the-Art Cornerstone of College’s Newburgh Campus

PHOTO: Grand Street entrance of Kaplan Hall, as seen on Jan. 19NEWBURGH, N.Y. – SUNY Orange reached a significant milestone in the robust expansion of its Newburgh campus on Wednesday morning (Jan. 19, 2011) as a sparkling Kaplan Hall, the College’s new 87,000-square-foot building at the intersection of Grand and First streets, welcomed its first students for classes.

Delayed one day due to Tuesday’s snowstorm, students arrived early Wednesday to a secure three-story parking garage and entered a spacious, state-of-the-art three-story building bursting with a bevy of technological amenities. Neither the one-day delay nor the intermittent sleet and snow flurries in the air Wednesday morning could dampen the luster of SUNY Orange opening its first brand new classroom building since the late 1970s.

PHOTO: An aerial view of students using computers in the new Kaplan Hall“This (opening of Kaplan Hall) is the single biggest advancement at the College since its founding 61 years ago,” said Dr. William Richards, SUNY Orange president, as he stood amongst mingling students near the building’s Hudson View Cafe on the second floor. “This campus will not only provide a remarkable learning environment for our students and teaching environment for the faculty, it will be a significant factor in the revitalization of the City of Newburgh.”

“I love it,” said second-semester student Kayleigh Burnet of Wallkill. “It’s huge, and we are not all cramped together like (we were) in the old building.”

“(This building) is definitely an eye-opener. Everything is very well done. The architecture and colors make it very futuristic,” added Shaun Waite of New Windsor. “When you first come up Grand Street and see (Kaplan Hall), it is outrageous. I think it’s great.”

Most of the building’s general-purpose classrooms are located on the second floor. All are equipped with Smartboards and projectors. The third floor houses an array of laboratories for such courses as biology, chemistry, laboratory technology, and anatomy and physiology. The crown jewel of the third floor is a nursing wing that will assure that graduates from the College’s renowned nursing program--SUNY Orange was the first community college in the nation to offer a two-year nursing degree and is still a fertile training ground for nurses in the Hudson Valley--continue to receive a top-flight education.

PHOTO: Nursing students take their first class in Kaplan HallThe nursing wing features two nursing simulation laboratories sandwiched around a fully outfitted control room from which professors can challenge students through the use of high-fidelity simulation manikins. The nursing suite also includes two large classroom-laboratories (one is shown at right) for teaching and demonstrating; a replica of a hospital room with two beds, compressed air and a full handicapped-accessible bathroom; and a conference room.

The first floor holds the main section of a two-story library, home to an expanding book collection and 64 computers where students can access the internet, software programs and research databases. The library’s second floor houses the College’s tutorial services area, as well as labs for reading, writing and math instruction.

Later this month, SUNY Orange will move its entire student services staff from the Tower Building to a expansive new “one stop” center on the first floor of Kaplan Hall. The new center will allow students to interact with representatives from advising and counseling, financial aid, business office, registrar and admissions ... all in one location.

Once the student services staff takes up residence in Kaplan Hall, the College can immediately begin renovations to the Tower Building, which should be complete by late 2011 so that the College can re-open the building for the Spring 2012 semester. Once complete, the Tower Building, located at the intersection of Broadway and Colden St., will allow SUNY Orange to double the number of students it can serve in Newburgh, from the equivalent of 600 full-time students now to nearly 1,200.

During the Fall 2010 semester, a combined 1,700 students studied on a full-time or part-time basis in Newburgh.

A formal dedication of Kaplan Hall is planned for Thursday, March 24.

>>See Photo Gallery of the first day of Kaplan Hall

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940