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Cuomo Approves Purchase College Senior Center

HARRISON, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo approved a bill this week proposing the creation of a senior living center at SUNY Purchase to help the college generate revenue. The space would be operated by the Purchase College Advancement Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation.

No plans for the center have been released by the college at this time.

An ongoing debate surrounding the issue has been in and out of state politics since the early 2000's. A similar bill was vetoed in 2008 by Gov. David Paterson.

University officials and interested seniors advocated for a residential learning community for seniors in recent years and sought legislators' help in approving this public-private partnership.

“We are extremely grateful to Senator Oppenheimer and the New York State Senate for passage of the bill, which will provide for the ability of Purchase College to finally begin to develop a senior learning community," Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz said. "This is a win-win for our students, faculty and the community."

The bill said 75 percent of the revenue generated by the senior learning community would be used to provide financial aid to students eligible for tuition assistance. The remaining 25 percent would support additional full-time faculty positions.

At least 20 percent of the residential units in the senior learning community would be reserved for low-income tenants, according to a press release. Westchester County residents would be given priority for 50 percent of those affordable housing units.

Finally, the legislation further directs State University trustees to designate and maintain a minimum of 80 acres of campus property for permanent preservation as open space lands.

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