By Matt Murphy, Transcript Statehouse Bureau
BOSTON -- Sen. Benjamin Downing succeeded in securing $49.5 million for a new science center at The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as part of a $2 billion borrowing bill approved yesterday unanimously by the Senate.
The spending plan was designed to invest in capital improvements to the state's public higher education system.
MCLA received $49.5 million for the construction of the new Center for Science and Innovation. With a focus on life sciences, technology, engineering and math, the center will enable the college to work collaboratively with the business community in Berkshire and meet their needs while expanding partnerships with local schools. County
"The science center will serve as the hub of development for new partnerships with business and industry and meet the challenges laid out in the Berkshire Compact by expanding relationships between MCLA, K-12 and the community colleges," Downing said.
Downing, in negotiations this week over the bill, convinced Senate leadership to increase the earmark for the MCLA science center from $31.2 million to $49.5 million.
Berkshire Community College will also receive $23 million for the renovation of academic facilities in Hawthorne and Melville Halls and in additional $1 million for exterior repairs on campus.