PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- It was a busy day of ribbon cuttings at Pace University in Pleasantville Thursday.
The university celebrated the grand opening of its Alumni Hall residential building and new Environmental Center Complex with more than 100 students, faculty, staff and elected officials and business leaders attending.
"Our commitment to Westchester is stronger than ever," Pace University President Stephen Friedman said. "There is a new sense of energy on campus. This is a wonderful environment. This will add to the legacy of greatness for years to come."
Mark Besca, chairman of the Pace University Board of Trustees, said he never imagined the new buildings would turn out this well.
"This is beyond my expectations," Besca said. "I couldn't be prouder. I want everyone to walk around with Pace swagger. This is an amazing institution and it's getting better everyday. When kids come to campus, they will know this is the number one place to be."
County Executive Rob Astorino said it was a great day for Westchester.
"This is what 21st century education is all about," Astorino said. "Having an educated workforce in Westchester means everything. You've come a long way, baby."
Astorino, a Fordham graduate, joked that if he could do it all over again, maybe he would've gone to Pace.
The 125,000-square-foot Alumni Hall is the first of three resident halls planned for the Pleasantville campus. The four-story building will house primarily first-year students. A second residence hall adjacent to the facility will be completed next fall.
The Environmental Center Complex features a raptor museum with various birds of prey and animal barns and a replica of a former farmhouse building. The complex includes space for students to attend seminars and for informal gatherings.
The grand openings come at a time of upgrades at Pace. In April, the university celebrated the reopening of its renovated and expanded Kessel Student Center and recently completed the Peter X. Finnerty baseball field and new Pace Stadium. Ianniello Field House is scheduled to be completed next month.
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