KBCC Formally Opens Its Academic Village Complex
By Neil S. Friedman
United States Senator Charles Schumer, was the featured speaker at last Friday’s ceremony for the formal opening of the $27 million Academic Village and 40th anniversary celebration kickoff at Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach.
Joining the senior New York Senator, who as a Congressman for the district played a crucial role in getting the bid for the building started, were Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Marty Golden, who was representing Governor Pataki, State Senator Carl Kruger, State Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, City Councilman Mike Nelson, as well as City University of New York, college and community leaders, as well as faculty and students from the two-year City University institution.
The Academic Village, for which construction began in 2000, is the college’s newest building and actually opened for use in early October. The complex is designed to house a computer lab, additional classroom space, a childcare center and a college welcome center, as well as Kingsborough’s College Now, Tourism and Hospitality, Continuing Education, and Counseling programs.
The formal opening of the Academic Village also marked the kickoff to a series of events that will celebrate Kingsborough Community College’s inception in 1963.
In his remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Schumer said, "Today marks not only the end of years of construction for one building, but forty years of building one of the best community colleges in America."
He added, "In 1974, Kingsborough only had a few thousand students, but it has grown and now stands as a beacon of excellence at the eastern end of Manhattan Beach…and symbolizes the greatness of this borough."
College president Byron McClenney, who announced his retirement in September, recently remarked, "As I retire from over 32 years as a community college president, it is fitting that one of my last acts as a president will be to open a new place of teaching and learning,
"It is also fitting that Kingsborough College take stock in his own four decades of accomplishment and look forward to new leadership in its higher education mission."
Councilman Nelson, who was on Congressman Schumer’s staff when the plans for the complex were initially proposed, told the standing-room-only room, "The Academic Village is an outstanding example of a partnership between the college, the community and the government."
Kruger called Kingsborough "the crown jewel of the City University."
Dr. Fred B. Malamet has been named Interim President effective December 13. Dr. Malamet has served for more than 30 years in senior administrative and academic positions at Kingsborough, including such posts as Dean of Academic Affairs, Interim Vice President and Dean of Faculty. He is currently a professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Human Services at Kingsborough.
The two-year college’s anniversary celebration will continue though next spring.