February 26, 2008

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Orange lawmaker continues effort to keep Empire State College in Middletown

GOSHEN – Orange County Legislator Jeffrey Berkman of Middletown asked the Education and Economic Development Committee of the County Legislature Monday to back him in his effort to keep the Middletown branch of Empire State College in that city.

Orange County Community College and the county are talking with Empire State about relocating from Middletown to the new yet-to-be built OCCC campus in Newburgh.

Berkman is opposed to that. “It’s not like they woke up one day and said how can they do damage to Middletown, NY? I don’t think that was in the minds of people. I think that they have different pressures; the people making these decisions are not from Orange County. The branch is situated in Hartsdale and the dean of the entire school is in Saratoga.”

Committee Chairman Anthony Marino said he would invite someone from the college to state their position at a future meeting.

Empire State’s Hudson Valley Dean Robert Trullinger told a City Hall meeting in the mayor’s office last year that the move to Newburgh would make the school more centralized and accessible to the Mid-Hudson Valley because of the Thruway and I-84 being located there.

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