POTSDAM – Clarkson University today announced updated to plans for its old downtown campus buildings, including a new data center, arts facilities, a business startup incubator, and space for its graduate physical therapy and physician assistant programs.
With installation of fencing this week around Clarkson’s Old Main, University President Tony Collins used the opportunity to speak about renovations to the historic building in downtown Potsdam and the investment in the future of its downtown campus, emphasizing the commitment to the economic health of the North Country.
The now-completed first phase of Clarkson's downtown redevelopment saw renovation of Clarkson Hall for physical therapy and physician assistant graduate programs, renovation of Peyton Hall as a business incubator with Clarkson's Shipley Center for Innovation, and development of business space for the community in Lewis House.
The next phase starts next week with major renovations to the historic Old Main building, which will house the North Country’s first green data center using IBM technologies and research facilities for the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a subsidiary of the university.
Clarkson will offer server space in Old Main to other local, regional and national higher education, research and commercial customers. This colocation facility will offer world-class server hosting at reasonable rates.
Clarkson is preparing to request proposals to develop the Congdon House residence hall, across the street from Old Main, and the third and fourth floors of Downtown Snell Hall, next to Congdon, as housing for graduate and post-doc students, and possibly transitional housing for faculty and staff.
The Regional Arts and Interactive Learning Project (RAIL), a collaboration between the St Lawrence County Arts Council (SLCAC) and the North Country Children’s Museum (NCCM), is slated to occupy 35,000 square feet in Downtown Snell Hall, establishing the first mixed-use venue providing arts enrichment and interactive learning to residents of the North Country. Current plans call for the first phase -- planning and construction -- to get underway in January with completion by January 2016.
Artists’ business incubators, a changing gallery exhibition, professionally equipped art studios and STEAM K-12 (science, technology, engineering, art and math) interactive learning spaces will provide a foundation for arts, culture and technical education. Distance learning programs presented through RAIL’s virtual learning resource center will feature business development classes for entrepreneurs and startups; grant-writing courses; STEAM K-12 workshops; virtual art show tours; a live ‘meet the artist’ series; and arts instruction.
Clarkson's Shipley Center for Innovation is negotiating a large preferred stock investment from a corporation that would locate its headquarters in Damon Hall (adjacent to Peyton Hall).The Shipley Center accelerates the commercialization of emerging technologies.
Collins also announced that Clarkson's Munter Trails, a two-mile trail system along the Raquette River near Clarkson's canoe house, will soon connect with downtown Potsdam at Maple Street. Final permissions for land use are underway and plans are for construction to commence soon after. The Munter Trails provide the community with spectacular views of Fall Island and convenient access to the Raquette River, while enhancing an overall sense of connection with the river.
Plans are also underway for renovation of the former liberal studies building on Pierrepont Avenue into additional educational facilities for the graduate health professions programs. A search is underway for a chairperson of a new Department of Occupational Therapy, which will house an occupational therapy doctoral program. When the program is fully underway, the liberal studies building space will be needed to expand health program laboratory and classroom space.
About Old Main
An architectural jewel and prominent showpiece in Potsdam sandstone, the facade of Old Main remains largely in its original design, while the interior reflects the typical ebb and flow of educational program and technology adaptations over the years.
Renovation plans for Old Main, therefore, call for an adaptive reuse of the structure. Green technologies will be incorporated throughout, as well as deployment of sustainability features such as high-efficiency boilers and air-handling equipment with energy recovery, increased insulation in walls and ceilings, energy-efficient windows, modern sealants on the building shell, high-efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors with day lighting features to control lights, low VOC paints and adhesives, and general features that contribute to a healthy work environment.
As part of the Green Data Center’s functionality, IBM and Clarkson staff have planned a design that captures the waste heat from the servers and uses it to heat the facility. In contrast to large traditional data centers, the footprint of the state-of-the-art data center at Clarkson uses existing space with minimal modifications.
As part of state funds previously awarded to Beacon Institute for development of its research facilities and program, Clarkson will renovate Old Main to further advance the REON sensor platform capabilities and locate the accompanying data center to analyze the massive amounts of environmental data captured in real time with remote telemetry in New York waterways.
About The Shipley Center for Innovation
The Shipley Center, which accelerates the commercialization of emerging technologies, has developed the "Clarkson Model for Commercialization," which focuses on proactively working with innovators and entrepreneurs to identify ideas, conduct feasibility analyses, and build a commercialization plan to bring new technologies to market.
This model has received recognition from the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship as a best-demonstrated practice and has directly resulted in the creation of 57 start-ups since inception in October 2010 with a pipeline of 150-plus additional projects currently under management. The center maintains a robust support infrastructure, which includes rapid prototyping, incubation space, market research, branding, intellectual property strategy, and a network of investors.
The Peyton Hall Incubator was re-launched in July 2011 after a complete refurbishment of the space and now offers four wet labs, 13,000 square feet of office space, two fully furnished conference rooms, and in-house services that include rapid prototyping, Web design/development, and staffing.
The incubator currently has 23 businesses in residence representing 74 percent occupancy. These businesses range in technology and focus, as well as in geographic location of origin with businesses moving into the incubator from Syracuse, Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., and the state of Washington.
Clarkson University pays full village, town, school and county property taxes totaling nearly $200,000 on all space that is rented or leased to businesses and on all J.R. Weston properties like the Clarkson Inn and University Bookstore.