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01-03-2011

Clarkson University Trustees Designate $1.6 Million For First Step In Redevelopment Of Downtown Campus

[A JPEG photo of Clarkson Hall is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/clarksonhall.jpg.]

Potsdam, N.Y. – The first step in the redevelopment of Clarkson University's downtown campus was announced today by President Denny Brown. The University Board of Trustees has designated $1.6 million to be used for the renovation of Clarkson Hall into a health care complex.Clarkson Hall

The facility will house the University's new Physical Therapy (PT) Program and Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH) physical therapy and rehabilitation programs. The Trustees also reviewed plans for use of the other buildings on the historic Potsdam village campus. These plans are the culmination of over a year's work by a joint committee of Potsdam officials, representatives of the business community, and Clarkson University staff.

In its gradual move to the campus on the hill, the University is working hand-in-hand with the Village of Potsdam to assure that our downtown campus will continue to be an integral part of the community, said President Brown. "This is just the first in what we hope will be a series of projects which prove beneficial to the Village, the University, and the greater North Country."

This is really quite an opportunity for our community, said Village Mayor Ruth Garner. "While the school's departure from these buildings initially alarmed us, careful cooperation between the Village and Clarkson has turned the situation into an exciting possibility for economic development. I am very pleased that Clarkson's trustees have taken this first step in the revitalization of the downtown campus."

Canton-Potsdam Hospital is looking forward to working in close cooperation with the University's health sciences programs. The Hospital will occupy the first floor of Clarkson Hall, and will locate its Potsdam outpatient physical therapy department there, along with additional comprehensive rehabilitation services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and neurorehabilitation programs. The Hospital will continue to provide inpatient physical therapy, and also will continue to operate an outpatient physical therapy department in Canton and to provide rehabilitation services at Community Nursing Home.

This is a serious commitment by Clarkson to work in partnership with the community, said Hospital President Bruce C. Potter. "Our staff can assist in teaching, and Clarkson professors and students will have the opportunity to work in a clinical setting. By cooperating, we can build a physical therapy and rehabilitation center of excellence that will benefit the entire region."

Clarkson's Physical Therapy Program will reside on the second floor of Clarkson Hall. "The facilities will feature an integrated basic science learning center, practice, research and evaluation laboratories," said Associate Dean and Director of Division of Health Sciences Samuel B. Feitelberg. "This program will emphasize student- centered learning through problem solving. Together, we will dedicate our efforts to meet the needs of a rapidly changing health care system."

The downtown redevelopment committee, in formulating a plan for the rest of the downtown campus, has created a profile of the facilities, investigated several ideas for usage, and selected the best possibilities for its overall plan. In addition to the health care complex, other uses for the downtown buildings may include an information technology development center, upscale residential housing, a museum of science and technology, and an institute for professional development.

Buildings that would be used for these projects include Old Main, Snell Hall, Lewis House, Congdon Hall, Liberal Studies, Damon Hall, Peyton Hall, Smith House, Craig House, and the Army and Force ROTC buildings.

Clarkson University is in the process of hiring a project manager, using the New York State grant and matching funds that have been made available for the project, to conduct feasibility studies on the committee's plan and to retain the expertise to implement that plan.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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