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Friday, October 14, 2016

Alfred State: SAMC ribbon-cutting and 50th anniversary celebration scheduled

In 1966, Alfred State students and staff erect a sign in Wellsville as the
first classes were held on the former Sinclair Refinery site.
Alfred State’s new Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center (SAMC) will be officially dedicated on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting, along with a celebration of the 50th anniversary for the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville.
Elected leaders scheduled to attend the event include: New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul; State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean; State Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R,C,I-Gowanda; and Allegany County Board of Legislators Chairman Curt Crandall, R-Belfast.
The $5 million, 16,000-square-foot facility includes large open bays for hands-on learning by welding and machine tool technology students. It was funded through the State University of New York (SUNY) 2020 Challenge Grant Program and is the first building on the Wellsville campus funded by the State of New York. The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. is leasing the site to SUNY for 30 years. Empire State Development and the Western New York Regional Economic Council supported the project with $500,000 for equipment inside SAMC.
The ceremony will also kick off a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary for the Wellsville campus. Displays will line the entrance hall to the new building, showcasing the skilled trades training available from Alfred State in culinary arts, building construction, automotive, electrical, computerized design, and manufacturing.
An historical display will include a congratulatory telegram dated Oct. 21, 1966 and addressed to the Wellsville Vocational Training School from Robert F. Kennedy, who was serving as a US Senator from New York at the time of the school’s opening.
The Wellsville campus was originally developed as an oil refinery, and was once one of the largest in the Pennsylvania oil fields. Opening in 1901, it was rebuilt by Sinclair after a major fire in 1938, and played a significant role during World War II. As regional oil supplies dwindled, the refinery struggled, closing in 1958 after a second significant fire. Many of the refinery’s buildings still stand today and are used for job training to feed high-need industries such as advanced manufacturing.
Classes began in Wellsville on Oct. 19, 1966 for 110 students enrolled in five programs taught by 10 faculty members. These five initial programs were automotive service, building construction, drafting, electrical service, and food service.