Governor Andrew Cuomo announced four colleges and universities across New York state were awarded more than $5 million as part of the “Energy To Lead” competition aimed at achieving energy savings and combating climate change.

And $1.1 million of that money is coming to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.

“We are very excited about this grant from the state of New York,” says Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley.

She says some of the money will go toward construction of a new energy-efficient building for its institute for liberal arts, adding that the new facility will be the most energy-efficient building in the Hudson Valley.

What You Need To Know

  • More than $5 million was awarded to four colleges and universities across the state

  • Vassar College, which aims to be carbon neutral by 2030, will use its share to build a new energy-efficient/green building

  • As part of the program, Vassar will also hold educational programs throughout the summer for junior and senior high school students from Poughkeepsie

  • The college will also have programs for local homeowners to help them make their homes more energy efficient and cut down on energy costs 

“It has geothermal heating and cooling, all-electric kitchens and rooftop solar electricity, as well as rooftop solar water heating. All very contemporary and modern,” says Bradley.

Vassar students will play a role in the green engineering of the building through classes and internships.

High school juniors and seniors in Poughkeepsie will also get some lessons in going green.

“Those are going to be programs that are like, internships in the summer, where you can really learn about the kinds of construction and energy and green engineering,” says Bradley.

Syracuse University, CUNY and New York Medical College also won grants to go green.

When all of the schools complete their projects, the Cuomo administration projects more than 4,600 metric tons of carbon will be kept out of the atmosphere, the equivalent of almost 4,000 cars leaving the roads each year.

Vassar also plans to reach out to homeowners.

"We're going to, ideally, have programs that can teach you, connect you with resources to save some money, frankly, in your energy bills, but also save the climate at the same time,” says Bradley.

Vassar’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030.