STRIVE project opens at SUNY Ulster’s new Kingston campus

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Roberts: “… a win for the comunity
and every student …”

KINGSTON – Kingston has a new SUNY Ulster campus, at the former Sofie Finn elementary school. Officials cut the ribbon outside the community college satellite school Tuesday morning.
Classes begin next week.
The transformation is the crowning jewel for Ulster County’s STRIVE initiative, which revitalizes the neighborhood while streamlining local resources.
The $7.8 million project took three years, from inception to ribbon cutting on Tuesday. Featured in the reconstruction are 130 additional parking spots, green infrastructure, and a new entrance vestibule.
“It’s a win for the community and every student walking up this path to get into this building,” said SUNY Ulster’s newly appointed president, Dr. Alan Roberts.
Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said having a college campus 100 yards away from Kingston High School provides opportunity for inner-city youth, adults, and police cadets.
“It will become a gem right here in the heart of the city for everyone,” said Hein who first proposed STRIVE in June 2012.  “This was slated to become a vacant boarded-up building in Midtown Kingston. That’s what it could have been.”
Jonathan Drapkin, president of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, called Hein a visionary, noting STRIVE’s benefit to the city’s student population. “Hope is an extraordinary thing to create for young people in a very difficult time; that’s a special thing,” he said.

Roberts and Hein shared the ribbon-cutting, accompanied by county and local officials