GE proposes new research facility

'Small' project would be completed by end of year

General Electric will continue to expand its local campus as it eyes building a new research facility.

The Niskayuna Planning Board and Zoning Commission heard GE's plans for a research facility focusing on an array of internal components including aviation, gas, oil, locomotives, motors and other areas. This was the initial site plan review for the board, but GE hopes to complete construction by the end of the year.

GE is involved in hundreds of areas of research, one of them which we do a lot of research here on this site with moving machinery and moving parts. This research is mainly for our internal components, said a GE representative, who introduced himself to the board as Peter Provost.

When approached later by a reporter, Provost said he could not release his name or any other information without going through GE Corporate.

This testing is done currently on site, but GE is looking to expand its research and had looked at locations in and out of state the to build the new facility.

"We do them on a small scale presently at all these different labs at our facility," said Provost. "This new facility is going to give us the opportunity to do it on a large scale."

When test prototypes were previously built, said Provost, they might not have been the actual size that would be produced as a final product. This new building would allow GE to test larger components and parts.

"We have come to the decision that this is the place corporate wants to put it because we do most of our research right here," said Provost.

The facility will be a pre-engineered steel building that is 11,250 square feet and the max height is 35 feet. It will not add any additional parking spots. Also, no new employees are planned to be hired as a result of the project, but "down the road" there is a possibility for additional employment, said Provost.

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