UTICA, N.Y. (Sept. 28, 2018) - On Saturday, Sept. 29, during Homecoming weekend, Utica College will dedicate Thurston Hall, giving the college’s growing construction management program a new, modern space. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m.
The 15,000-square foot building is named in honor of Gary M. Thurston and his family, in recognition of the Thurston family’s leadership, vision and philanthropy. Thurston, chairman and CEO of Hayner Hoyt, is a 1968 graduate of UC’s construction management program, and has been the lead donor on this project. An additional $700,000 in funding was provided by Empire State Development (ESD) through the Regional Economic Development Council, a statewide initiative designed to jumpstart the economy and create jobs.
More than 10 years after his graduation, Thurston reconnected with the construction management program at UC and began teaching a course on campus. He was an adjunct professor at the college for many years, until the decision was made to terminate the program. Thurston, along with other alumni, advocated for bringing back the program, citing a need for trained professional in the field. In 2007, a decision was made to bring back the construction management program. When asked about his generous donation toward the construction of the new building, Thurston explained, "It’s not going to guarantee that our company will get the graduates; I think the message is you have to do something that isn’t just going to help you, but something that is going to help our industry as a whole.”
Currently at more than 100 students, construction management enrollment has continued to increase every year since its relaunch. As the number of students enrolled in the program continued to increase, many challenges became apparent. Housed in the basement of Hubbard Hall, the program needed larger computer labs with updated software and hardware, as well as more classroom and meeting/presentation space. The program also lacked an on-site materials lab.
In Thurston Hall, students will gain a new materials lab, which will offer materials testing equipment, workspace for construction projects, and instructional support technology such as whiteboards and AV projectors. Students will also gain two new construction management computer laboratories that will be able to seat more students and contain workstations configured with special software. The building also contains a multi-use auditorium for large group instruction, or future presentations, talks, or alumni gatherings.
Thurston Hall adds new classrooms and office space to the UC campus, as well as a state-of-the-art smart classroom, which includes video conferencing capabilities to support on-line/on-campus course delivery.
“The construction of Thurston Hall offers benefits for the future of the program by helping to attract quality student prospects from across the country and around the world,” said Dr. David Dubbelde, professor and director of the construction management program. “Recruitment efforts will be made easier as the building serves as an attractive setting for one-on-one interviews, tours and demonstrations. The construction of this new building and its modular design will allow for growth in the coming decades.”
Dubbelde added that the program boasts a 100 percent placement rate for its graduates.
About Utica College – Utica College, founded in 1946, is a comprehensive private institution offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. The College, located in upstate central New York, approximately 90 miles west of Albany and 50 miles east of Syracuse, currently enrolls more than 5,000 students in 42 undergraduate majors, 36 minors, 20 graduate programs and a number of pre-professional and special programs. For more information, visit www.utica.edu.