The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill authorizing $1 billion in bonds for the improvement of state capital facilities and for general government operations on Thursday, said state Sen. Karen Spilka, a Democrat, who represents Framingham.
The bill includes funding for accessibility improvements, cultural facilities, school equipment at vocational schools and public library improvements and increases in spending authorizations for state universities and community college campus facilities, but important to Framingham $14 million for MassBay Community College to build a new campus in downtown Framingham.
This additional $14 million bringing the state’s total capital contribution to $36 million for the $59 million campus project. In October 2012, Governor Deval Patrick announced $22 million for the project.
“MassBay is a true partner for the MetroWest region, and this additional funding for a new campus is wonderful news for the college and for our ongoing efforts to transform and revitalize downtown Framingham,” said Spilka. “MassBay will be able to improve and expand educational opportunities for students, and a new campus in the heart of downtown will also provide a significant boost to local businesses in the area.”
“The approval today of $14 million for the downtown MassBay Framingham campus is a necessary step in bringing the vision for that campus to fruition,” said MassBay President John O’Donnell. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all at the college, I would like to express my appreciation to Senator Spilka, Representative Sannicandro and our entire MetroWest delegation for their support in moving this legislation forward.”
MassBay’s new campus will be located near the downtown Framingham commuter rail station and MetroWest Regional Transit Authority bus service, benefiting students and faculty who commute to campus from other parts of the state and bringing new customers to downtown Framingham businesses, restaurants and shops.
The new campus is expected to serve as an anchor institution for downtown Framingham and as a springboard for further economic growth in the area.
The college is currently leasing space in the former Farley School on Flagg Drive across from McCarthy Elementary School and next to Fuller Middle School in Framingham, as a secondary campus. It has a main campus in Wellesley and another smaller campus in Ashland.