By Legislator Phil Soskin (D- Monsey)
Rockland County Legislature
I am very fortunate to have SUNY Rockland Community College in my legislative district, and we are all fortunate to have the college in our County. With a national shift toward the value and benefits of community colleges, RCC beckons as one of the best in the state.
We recently worked with the college, as we do each year, on their budget for the upcoming year. The partnership between the college and the County remains strong, and I am encouraged by the forward-looking plans the college has for its future.
RCC offers an affordable college experience for students just beginning their college careers. Students who graduate from RCC almost always attend a four-year college immediately after to expand their education. Graduates from the college’s renowned Honors Program often go on to Ivy League universities.
RCC is growing and with it is its vision. Plans for a dormitory to attract students not only from Rockland but across the region are moving ahead. A recent $250,000 grant will be used to renovate the college’s spacious “Fieldhouse,” which is also the County’s emergency evacuation site in the event of a disaster.
Just next to the Fieldhouse, an aging outdoor amphitheater will be replaced by a new Outdoor Performance Space. The project was funded by a recent online fundraising effort that raised over $400,000, including matching funds from generous donors.
In May, the college cut the ribbon on its new “Herbert Kurz Automotive Technology Center” in Orangeburg. The 27,304 square foot facility offers a full education in automotive studies by experienced instructors who are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
The vision for the college’s future was spearheaded by its energetic president, Dr. Cliff Wood. Dr. Wood, who also serves on the NYS Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council, will be retiring next June after an incredible tenure leading our community college. We wish him well in his upcoming retirement, and we know that he leaves behind an incredible legacy of progress and innovation that will make SUNY Rockland Community College an even greater education destination for many years to come.