Updated 06/11/2012 06:52 PM
Private gift spurs Auburn project
It's a project that could have a long-term impact in the Auburn area. A project that combines state aid and private giving. YNN's Bill Carey says the turning point in the long-discussed effort was a private gift of half a million dollars.
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AUBURN, N.Y. -- As long as Cayuga Community College has been in operation, the Karpinski family in Auburn have been there. Helping to found the school. Helping run the school.
Dr. Joseph Karpinski, a long time oral surgeon in the Auburn area, says the school is worth the effort.
“Through our affiliation with the college, we have seen, first hand, the impact that this institution has made in our community. It truly is a gateway to higher education for thousands of students,” Karpinksi said.
Now, Karpinski is going further, handing the college a check for $500,000.
“Private giving enables us to do those projects that go beyond the scope of day to day operations. To do those special things that enhance what we are able to do,” said Cayuga Community College President Dr. Daniel Larson.
In this case, a $6 million joint project with the Auburn City School District that Larson and others say will have a major impact for decades to come.
What's involved is the first major upgrade in years for the Auburn City School District's Holland Stadium. And then, alongside it, a major new sports facility being built for Cayuga Community College. It will be called the Karpinski Athletic Complex, a 150,000 square foot artificial turf stadium project that can play host to softball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse. The same turf that covers the new field will also be put down at Holland Stadium, expanding its potential use. And there will be savings.
“You're not going to have the cost of fertilizing, re-sodding, marking, mowing, personnel, all that. When you put down turf, you've got that fluffer machine that takes care of just about everything. That's going to be a joint venture as well,” said Auburn School Board Member Sam Giangreco.
But beyond the savings, officials say the project opens up new opportunities.
Auburn Superintendent J.D. Pabis said, “We have looked at ways to enhance our community. Enhance our community by being able to offer concerts, a venue for concerts. A venue for tournaments. A venue where the community can come together.”
The project should take about two years to complete.
The gift from Dr. Karpinski isn't the last donation the city schools and college will be looking for. They still need to raise another $2.5 million in private funds to match aid from New York State.