New York Power Authority Awards $5.5 Million to Shared Campus Initiative

July 27, 2013  |  by Michael Freedman

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees on Tuesday approved a two-year competitive contract award worth $5.5 million to Edbauer Construction of West Seneca, N.Y., to implement  a comprehensive plan to upgrade and enhance the facilities, roadways and parking lots that connect NYPA’s Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant and the Niagara University campus.

The shared campus initiative includes the realignment and reconstruction of roads and parking lots, covering approximately 20 acres of shared property between the two campuses. Specifically, the project will improve lighting, grading and drainage on the roads and will also include the construction of a mile-long bicycle and pedestrian path that will connect NYPA’s Power Vista visitors center with Reservoir State Park.

The project will also add three security cameras to enhance the safety of NYPA visitors and students in the shared Power Vista parking lots. As part of the project, the university entranceway will be redesigned and enhanced with a new rock wall sign, including lighting and plantings.

“From the standpoint of safety and security alone this is a great project, and it has the added benefit of opening up access to a host of recreational activities, that I myself am planning to take full advantage of,” said Harry Francois, NYPA Western New York regional manager. “We are especially pleased that the improvements are being undertaken by a local business.”

“The Power Authority has always been a great neighbor to Niagara University and this project is just one example of the ways in which the university has benefited from that relationship,” said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., president of Niagara University. “We are particularly grateful to have the Power Authority’s support with these much needed improvements to this infrastructure and our shared roadways.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to work on this project which will benefit the university and the many visitors to the Power Authority’s visitors center,” said Bill Bauer, president, Edbauer Construction. “Our work with the Power Authority started in 2007 and has allowed our business to grow and thrive in Western New York and has also permitted us to channel significant economic benefits to a number of Western New York firms we subcontract with for trucking, electrical and other needs outside our core business.”

In addition to supplying low-cost Niagara hydropower to Niagara University, NYPA and Niagara University have a relationship that spans more than half a century. Under an agreement in connection with the 2007 federal relicensing of the Niagara Hydroelectric, NYPA established a $9.5 million capital fund to be used at the discretion of the university; established a landscaping development fund worth $1 million; and transferred ownership of approximately 24 acres of vacant land to the university.

Work on the Shared Campus Initiative is expected to begin this summer and conclude by the end of 2014.