Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $6.9 Million For Rochester-finger Lakes Cultural Institutions & Higher Education – Delivering Funding For Finger Lakes Museum, Training For Finger Lakes Wine Industry Workforce, New Rural Community Outpatient Clinic At Keuka College, New Arts Program At St. John Fisher, And More

Mar 12, 2024

Schumer, Gillibrand: Critical Federal $$$ Will Boost Finger Lakes Colleges & Museums To Drive Tourism, Train Workforce, Boost Healthcare And Strengthen Local Economy!

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Gillibrand today announced $6.9 million for Rochester and the Finger Lakes in the just passed Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills to support the region’s educational institutions and arts sector as well as boosting access to healthcare and workforce training. These projects, which include a Rural Community Outpatient Clinic at Keuka College; the construction of a new modernized, expanded, and upgraded winery career training facility at Finger Lakes Community College’s (FLCC) campus in Canandaigua; and the final funding needed to complete construction of the new Saunders Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum will further revitalize Rochester and the Finger Lakes, dedicating resources to projects that will bring new cultural experiences to the region, expand learning opportunities, grow tourism and jobs, and strengthen the community’s healthcare system.

“With these federal funds I fought hard to deliver, we will make investments in our Finger Lakes higher education, museums, and thriving arts sector, which will spark economic growth, drive tourism in and help lay the foundation for a stronger local economy,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding secures the final pieces needed to bring the brand new Saunders Finger Lakes Museum to life and the well-paying construction jobs that come with it; it will also breathe new life into the growing theater community, and so much more. This over $6.9 million I delivered means new good-paying jobs, better healthcare for our rural communities, and preserving and expanding the rich arts, history, and culture of the Rochester-Finger Lakes region for the next generation. I’m proud to deliver this funding that will improve the quality of life in Rochester and the surrounding areas.”

“Investments in our cultural and educational institutions are critical to grow tourism, create jobs, and expand learning opportunities in our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “From completing the construction of the Saunders Finger Lakes Museum to building a rural community outpatient clinic at Keuka College, this investment of nearly $7 million will help spark new life in Rochester and the Finger Lakes. The funding will help expand cultural experiences, grow the local economy, and strengthen the local health care system for area residents. I’m proud to deliver this funding and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on Rochester and Finger Lakes communities.”

Schumer and Gillibrand highlighted the below projects they secured funding for:

$2 million for the Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum Capital Project

The Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum will use this funding to complete construction of the long-awaited Saunders Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History, This $2 million is the final pieces needed to bring the brand new Saunders Finger Lakes Museum to life and complete construction. For years, the Finger Lakes Museum has been a dream for this community, and now this funding will make it a reality, bringing the rich history of the Finger Lakes region together in a new state-of-the-art facility for tourists and future generations to enjoy for years to come.  Specifically, the funding will be used to complete construction of the brand-new exhibition hall and plaza, an outdoor educational pavilion, an elevated walkway, and more exhibits and experiences to complete the museum’s master. The 30-acre campus will be a place for enjoyment in all seasons and will provide a place of recreation and education for youth, families, and the increasing tourist and resident populations surrounding the 11 Finger Lakes.  Schumer visited Yates County last year to announce he had secured the funding in the Senate markup for the Finger Lakes Museum.

$1.8 million for Coleman Chapel at St. John Fisher College

St. John Fisher College will use this funding to renovate Coleman Chapel in Murphy Hall into a new, first-of-its-kind performing, visual, and literary arts center. The project will enhance campus and community-based arts programming for students and residents in a black box theater that affords dancers, musicians, and other students the opportunity to perform. The multi-use theater will bring a new performing arts space and educational resources to Monroe County.

$1.6 million for Keuka College’s Rural Community Outpatient Clinic

This $1.6 million investment will be game changing for Keuka College, its students, and the surrounding Finger Lakes community. These federal dollars will not only provide affordable and accessible healthcare to 1000 area residents, but it will also address the severe shortage of healthcare workers in Yates and provide vital resources.  Keuka College will use this funding to construct a Rural Community Outpatient Clinic, providing local residents with access to primary care, mental health counseling, physical therapy, wellness coaching, and athletics. The creation of this clinic will drive increased enrollment in Keuka College and provide clinical training opportunities for 100 students per year in the College’s healthcare programs, addressing the severe shortage of available fieldwork clinical training opportunities in NY State while creating more well qualified healthcare professionals to serve New York State. It will also create increased jobs at the clinic and through the education of well qualified health and human service students at Keuka College that will utilize the clinic for internships and hands-on experience

$1 million to construct an expanded and modernized New Horticulture Education Complex at Finger Lakes Community College to train workers in viticulture for jobs in the Finger Lakes Wine Industry

Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) will use this funding to construct, upgrade, and modernize its Horticulture Education Complex.  The funding will supercharge the FLCC Horticulture Education Complex bolstering its impact on the Finger Lakes’ agricultural, viticulture, and wine industries.  Winery industry partners will benefit from fully trained students entering the workforce without added costs and responsibility of training because of lack of sufficient capabilities.  This renovation would benefit several programs, including the viticulture program that works hand-in-hand with vintners in the area.  Funding will be used to complete a detailed renovation of its Horticulture Education Complex, replacing a 38-year-old greenhouse with a modern, 3,780-square-foot facility. This renovation includes replacing existing buildings, removing asbestos, masonry and frame alteration, and other site work demolition necessary for the new complex. The project will give students and educators access to a state-of-the-art, environmentally controlled greenhouse facilitating horticultural research across growing climates, expanding educational opportunities for students and teachers across the Finger Lakes.

$500,000 for the National Women’s Hall of Fame Completion of The Seneca Knitting Mill’s Restoration Project

The funding will complete the over 15 year endeavor by the Hall of Fame to transform the formerly vacant and dilapidated Seneca Knitting Mill into the new permanent home for the National Women’s Hall of Fame.  The project will repurpose the upper floors of this building, which have been vacant for years, to create a fully operational museum and event space for the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The completed Mill project is a key part of the Town of Seneca Falls’ master plan and addresses four needs: 1) Hall expansion and programming growth; 2) full accessibility to four floors of exhibit, programming, community gathering, and conference spaces; 3) promotion and support of regional tourism and economy; and 4) the adaptive rehabilitation of an iconic, downtown historic structure. Schumer previously helped secure a $246,000 federal Save America’s Treasures grant in 2013 that helped begin the Mill’s reconstruction.