UTICA, N.Y. -- It doesn't look like much yet, but this three feet deep concrete slab is the beginning of one of the most anticipated projects in the Mohawk Valley.
"We're at the beginning construction phases," said project director Bruno Ozols.
"For anybody who's been in Utica for any length of time knows the condition of our city and the challenges we've had economically. This is like a shot in the arm we've been waiting for," said Tony Myers, a Utica resident.
It's called QUAD C, a nanotechnology facility being built on SUNY IT's campus in Utica.
President of SUNY IT, Robert Geer, said, "It's going to be a multi-story clean room in which researchers can come and develop nano-electronics. They essentially take their chips and stack them or interconnect them to make new types of devices, new types of technologies."
The design and construction of these kinds of facilities is extremely advanced. As the building can't have any vibrations and the air has to be 100 times cleaner than a hospital operating room.
Ozols said, "This will be the only double stacked clean room, one clean room over another, in the university system. So it's a great accomplishment and the only one in the United States for a university system."
On Saturday, SUNY IT invited the public to get an inside look into the construction process. They listened to speakers share what nanotechnology is, how the facility is being built and how it will impact the community.
Geer said, "It's not for someone else, it's for them. Whether it's a business they work at, whether it's a student, a child of theirs, whether it's a friend, that they see this as an investment that's going to pay back for people in the community for people in the region."
After decades of discussions and years of planning, an end to this project is finally in sight. By the end of December, the walls should be built. Then they'll begin working on the interior infrastructure. QUAD C is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Plans to build the Marcy Nanocenter, a separate facility near SUNY IT's campus, are still in the works. In need of a few more permits, officials say they hope to break ground for this project by next year.