The satellite campus will offer students hands-on clean room training that will translate well to employment at Fab 4X or other businesses. "It's one of the few of a kind like this in the nation," said Joeseph Sarubbi, executive director of TEC-SMART, who said that HVCC has been working closely with AMD, communicating with the company's chip fabs in Dresden, Germany.
"We are certainly collaborating," he said. "AMD is going to get more intimately involved in making sure our clean room meets specifications."
TEC-SMART's more than one dozen classrooms will also provide education in alternative energy fields like photovoltaic design. The building is promised to be a "green" structure. A groundbreaking in early 2009 is hoped for, with students in seats a year later.
Former State Sen. Joseph Bruno helped secure $13.5 million in state funding for TEC-SMART. The hope is that it will cover the bulk of the cost, but planning has yet to be completed.
STEP is a 280-acre site located near LFTC, and already houses a number of high-tech businesses working toward "green" solutions, like Eloctrovaya, a lithium-ion battery maker; groSolar, a solar panel manufacturer and installer; and Starfire Systems, which uses nanotechnology in ceramic manufacturing.
HVCC won't be the only educator working on construction projects in the near future. On Wednesday, Oct. 22, the Ballston Spa Board of Education voted to proceed with a planned 70,000-square-foot expansion and 100,000 square feet of renovations to the middle and high schools.
The project will give students and teachers much needed breathing room at the middle school, where about 1,050 students inhabit an area built for 800. In addition, more science classrooms will be added and old ones will be upgraded. Newer equipment with special power and space needs don't always work well in the 1950s-era labs.
The $56 million project would raise property taxes by 55 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. It will be subjected to a Dec. 11 public referendum. If the measure passes, a groundbreaking in the fall of 2010 is hoped for.