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Stony Brook Southampton Campus to Address Housing, Infrastructure Needs

Sb southampton sign

Sb southampton sign

The Stony Brook Southampton campus was a central topic at the Stony Brook Council meeting on May 6, where administrators and faculty discussed future plans for the 82-acre campus that serves approximately 600 students and around 50 faculty and staff members. The meeting, held at Southampton, came after the approval of the state’s 2024-25 budget, which includes $150 million for the New York Housing for the Future Program.

Jed Shivers, senior vice president for finance and administration, highlighted the severe housing affordability issues faced by staff and students. “People simply can’t afford to live here,” Shivers said, noting the difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff due to the high cost of housing in the surrounding area. Shivers detailed a plan to engage the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to involve private developers in addressing the critical shortage of student and workforce housing on the Southampton campus.

DASNY, renowned for its expertise in construction, financing and project management, has shown interest in collaborating with the university. Shivers emphasized that DASNY would help create sustainable and environmentally appropriate housing facilities, aligning with the university’s goals. The plan includes developing apartment-style housing with up to 500 beds, primarily dedicated to Stony Brook Medicine. The partnership aligns with DASNY’s core mission to “finance, design and build New York’s future.”

Sb southampton hospitalPaul Harding, the interim associate provost of the Lichtenstein Center, acknowledged the pandemic’s impact on the availability of affordable off-campus housing, particularly for students enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts programs on the Southampton campus.

William Herrmann, vice president for facilities and services, outlined the current state of the Southampton campus, noting that of the 51 buildings, 19 are abandoned or secured, with 14 slated for potential removal to make way for new developments. Since 2021, the campus has seen $42 million in capital projects, including renovations and accessibility upgrades.

Future development plans include relocating Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to the campus’s northeast quadrant and potentially building a new Long Island Rail Road station. William Wertheim, MD, interim executive vice president for Stony Brook Medicine, reported significant progress in fundraising for the new hospital, with $60 million raised by the Southampton Hospital Association towards the $300 million goal.

Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis noted a more positive dialogue with state legislators and Governor Kathy Hochul, focusing on continued investment in public higher education.

Wendy Pearson, vice president for strategic initiatives, announced the establishment of an advisory council to guide the campus’ development plans, emphasizing the need for community engagement. She highlighted the importance of access to bachelor’s degrees on the East End of Long Island and proposed exploring hybrid and online programs to enhance educational opportunities. She also stressed the financial sustainability of the Southampton campus, aiming to support its programs through revenue generated on-site.

“My hope is that we establish community engagement as our way of doing business in the East End. We want to build that momentum and demand for the hospital and workforce housing and pull it all together in a comprehensive way, working with the community members,” said Pearson.

— Beth Squire

 

 

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