Purchase College, referred to as the “gem” of the State University of New York system, combines distinctive programs in the liberal arts and sciences with professional conservatory and studio training in the performing and visual arts. This combination provides a unique educational experience for approximately 4,200 students from 39 states and 33 countries. Of these students, approximately 2,600 live on campus and enjoy an unusually stimulating and creative environment.
Located on more than 500 acres of farmland—originally the property of Thomas Thomas, a Revolutionary War hero—Purchase combines the ease of suburban living in Westchester County with close proximity to New York City. Its academic buildings, designed in the 1970s by leading architects, are clustered around a central plaza modeled on the University of Virginia campus, with easy access to surrounding dormitories and apartments and to a state-of-the-art athletic complex. A three-mile perimeter road within the campus property, Brigid Flanigan Drive, named for one of the college’s generous benefactors, provides both convenient access and a safe environment for recreation.
Purchase College is moving toward completion of a multiyear Capital Facilities Plan with more than 21 projects (at a total value exceeding $130 million) in various stages of planning, design, or construction. Major completed projects include the rehabilitation of the central plaza and the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems in the Neuberger Museum of Art, and new headquarters for the University Police Department in previously unused space. In the fall of 2015, after three years in construction, the Durst Family Humanities Building reopened. The upgrade involved a complete interior and exterior renovation of the building. Classrooms, labs, and offices for the entire building were updated to provide the best teaching and learning environments, with complete technology integration for all teaching and interactive spaces.
Exterior rehabilitation projects are underway in the Music, Natural Sciences, and Physical Education Buildings. In the dormitories, the first phase of a multiyear plan to renovate the interior, heating, and bathrooms in the main dormitory has been completed. Design is progressing on a new residence hall with more than 300 beds, scheduled for completion by the fall of 2017. Construction is underway for a new academic building—the Center for Media, Film, and Theatre—which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. Plans for three rehabilitation projects—heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems in the Dance Building; humidification in the Music Building; and academic restrooms throughout the campus—are complete and waiting for construction approvals.
A Facilities Master Plan that aligns the next 10-year Capital Facilities Plan with the academic mission of the college has been completed, together with an electric metering project to monitor building electrical demand and energy consumption. In collaboration with the New York Power Authority, the college will also study current building systems and identify possible capital projects in an effort to realize energy savings, as outlined in the Energy Master Plan.
Purchase College, selected by the Princeton Review as one of the “greenest” schools in the country and certified by the Westchester Green Business Challenge, continues to demonstrate leadership in workplace sustainability. The numerous sustainability programs and projects include a “green” lecture series and presentations; a high-tech compost machine used to nurture the soil of the student-run garden; projects that focus on reducing waste in student housing, offices, and food services; and an award-winning vegan cafe, Terre Ve. All new construction and major renovation projects focus on energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) U.S. Green Building guidelines. Purchase College has also been awarded a $765,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program to install bioswales and porous pavement to mitigate stormwater runoff on campus. This project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.