Ganondagen gets $1M from NYS for cultural center

Thanks to $1 million from Governor Cuomo’s recently announced NY Works Funding, Ganondagan State Historic Site’s Seneca Art & Culture Center will now include some of the “finer features” in its original plans, according to Site Manager G. Peter Jemison. These include a geothermal well for a sustainable, energy-efficient method of heating and cooling, and roll out, theater seating. “We are so grateful to New York State for recognizing the importance of our Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan with its financial backing,” said Friends of Ganondagan Board of Trustees Chair Dan Rundberg (Cayuga). “The new Center will be a compelling tourism destination for local, regional, national and international visitors, and will bring great growth opportunities to the area.”Friends of Ganondagan Board members John Ninfo (chair of the Seneca Art & Culture Center Building Committee) and Ebets Judson (chair of the “Signatures of the Seneca” Capital Campaign) note that this additional money signifies New York State’s continuing commitment to the Center, which is in addition to its previously pledged $2 million and another $900,000 through the Environmental Protection Fund. The Center’s other funding partners include the Seneca Nation and corporate, foundation, and private funders. Additional contributions are welcome at: www.ganondagan.org/CultureCenter/Donate.html.The Seneca Art & Culture Center—scheduled for a Fall 2013 groundbreaking and a tentative 2014 opening—is a $10 million project (including building and endowment) which will enable the State Historic Site, for the first time in its history, to offer year-round facilities for optimal interactive educational and cultural experiences. In addition to the newly enabled sustainable climate system and theater seating, the Center will feature a multi-purpose auditorium, gallery, permanent and rotating exhibit space, a catering kitchen, traditional gardens, audiovisual and distance learning capabilities, a gift shop and office space, totaling just over 17,000 square feet.The $1 million for Ganondagan is part of Governor Cuomo’s $90 million to upgrade and repair more than 50 state parks and historic sites across New York. According to the Governor’s press release, this year’s State Budget provides $90 million for state parks to begin construction on the next round of the New York Works capital program to address the backlog of environmental capital needs and spur job creation and economic development. “Through the NY Works program, the state is investing in much needed projects to repair our parks and historic sites while creating jobs and generating local economic activity,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects to rehabilitate park infrastructure and address health and safety issues will improve the experience for park visitors, create jobs and support New York’s tourism industry.”“A first-class parks system encourages healthy recreation, protects the state’s natural resources, and attracts residents, tourists, and private investment to communities around our state,” Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey added.

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