Paul Smith's College, APA reach agreement on transfer of VIC - 2011-01-04
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 4, 2011
CONTACT: Keith P. McKeever
APA Public Relations
Director of Communications
Paul Smith's College
ADIRONDACK PARK AGENCY AND PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE
REACH AGREEMENT ON
PAUL SMITHS VISITOR INTERPRETIVE CENTER FUTURE
RAY BROOK and PAUL SMITHS, NY – Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Paul Smith’s College officials announce today the transfer of the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) facility. On December 31, 2010, the APA turned over the main 24,500-square-foot public assembly building which includes a 158-seat multi-purpose room, staff offices, exhibit and classroom space as well as all accessory structures to the College. The long standing lease of the College’s land by APA will also terminate with this transfer of assets.
APA Chairman Curtis F. Stiles said, “Since the opening of the Paul Smiths VIC in 1989, hundreds of thousands of people visited the VIC and experienced the natural wonders of the Adirondack Park. We profoundly thank the staff and volunteers at the Visitor Interpretive Centers for all their great efforts and accomplishments.”
“This transfer is good news for both the community and the VIC,” said Dr. John W. Mills, President of Paul Smith’s College. “We’re excited that this great resource has been preserved. We will continue to look for ways to integrate the center into our academic programs, and explore additional possibilities for community involvement at the VIC.”
This year, Paul Smith’s College has worked with outside groups as part of its commitment to continuing the tradition of public access to the VIC building. The Adirondack Park Institute, a volunteer, not-for-profit group that supports educational programming at the VIC, has taken the lead in those efforts and has already raised more than $40,000 to continue those offerings.
Additionally, the college intends to maintain public access to the VIC’s extensive trail network. The trails, which are on college-owned land, attract thousands of hikers, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and other outdoor enthusiasts to the area every year.
“In addition to being a fantastic benefit to community members, the visitors drawn by the trails are vitally important to the area’s economic health,” Mills said.
APA Chairman Curtis F. Stiles said, “We commend Paul Smith’s College for coming forward and taking over this facility. Their intention to keep this valuable asset open to the public is an honorable community service. We also want to thank the State Comptroller’s Office, Attorney General’s Office and Office of General Services for all their assistance.”
APA Executive Director Terry Martino said, “We are pleased that a positive outcome has resulted for the Paul Smiths VIC. The impact of the Agency’s Visitor Interpretive Centers was clearly significant in increasing environmental awareness. Our public outreach will now continue through the daily work efforts of all Agency staff. I too join our Chairman in thanking Paul Smith’s College for their commitment in this endeavor and look forward to their success.”
Paul Smith’s will announce plans for the VIC, including programming, staffing, hours of operations, public visitation, special programs inclusive of groups and schools, off site programs and outreach, in the near future.
The action concludes the Agency’s involvement with the Visitor Interpretive Centers. In July 2010 the APA transferred the state-owned buildings and equipment at the Newcomb VIC to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. SUNY ESF now manages environmental programming for the Newcomb VIC and plans to integrate the facility with the Adirondack Ecological Center and the Northern Forest Institute and maintain public access.
The Adirondack Park Agency operated the Visitor Interpretive Centers at Paul Smiths and Newcomb since 1989 and 1990 respectively. With a mission to “enhance public awareness of Park resources and the Agency’s role in their protection,” the VICs were an integral part of an outreach effort to build public appreciation for the value of the Adirondack Park to the state of New York and the broader global community. Paul Smiths VIC staff provided interpretive services to nearly 75,000 students participating in on-site school field trips since 1989.
Paul Smith’s College is the only four-year private college in the Adirondack Park. The College offers programs in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences. Paul Smith’s College draws on industries and resources available locally while preparing students for successful careers globally. For more information visit http://www.paulsmiths.edu
The mission of the Adirondack Park Agency is to protect the public and private resources of the Adirondack Park through the exercise of the powers and duties of the Agency as provided by law. For more information, call the APA at (518) 891-4050 or visit