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Boehlert announces funding for center city project

Binghamton University today joined with Congressman Sherwood L. Boehlert (R – NY) to announce a second grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support the University’s Center City Coordination (C3) Project that focuses on a variety of efforts to revitalize the center city of Binghamton.

In announcing the 2-year $200,000 grant, Congressmen Sherwood L. Boehlert (R – NY) said: “It’s becoming almost routine to announce Binghamton University’s leadership in yet another area. This continuation of Binghamton University’s Center City Coordination Project provides tangible evidence that the University and city are linked not just in name but in deed in partnering for a more prosperous future for all.”

C3 was launched in early 2003 thanks to an initial HUD grant of $400,000 and is located close to the heart of Binghamton on the 3rd floor of 218-222 Water Street. The program partners Binghamton University with over 60 community agencies and organizations in a neighborhood revitalization program, targeting residents in a high priority section of the city of Binghamton, which incorporates District 7 and the southern two-thirds of District 9.

C3’s main focus has been to assess and address the critical needs faced by the community members in these districts and has incorporated programs and projects in community organizing, community planning, education, health and well-being, job training and housing.

“The Center City Coordination project is an outstanding example of the partnerships Binghamton University has with the community,” said Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur. ”We appreciate Congressman Boehlert’s assistance in securing this grant. This is a partnership that significantly enhances the region’s quality of life, fosters economic vitality, and makes this a more attractive community.”

Two task teams steer the project: a Community Advisory Council made up of members of the designated neighborhoods and community groups and organizations; and a 12-person University Action Team drawn from faculty and professional ranks and supplemented by students.

“This is really neighborhood based,” said Allison Alden, director of C3. “The sense of direction comes from people who live there and work there.”

C3 has successfully launched a number of efforts to provide much-needed services in the center city community. These efforts include tutoring services for youths with special needs; support resources for grandparents raising grandchildren; a music appreciation program for school-aged children; after-school enrichment programs; and health and wellness programs.

With the new HUD funding, Alden plans to continue and enhance current programs, and will emphasize two new areas: youth and employment.

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