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Governors Island getting $700 million climate center for green research, Adams announces

NYC building $700 million climate center on Governors Island
NYC building $700 million climate center on Governors Island 02:04

NEW YORK -- A 400,000-square-foot climate center called the New York Climate Exchange will be built on Governors Island, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday. 

Adams said the project is about building cleaner, greener solutions for New Yorkers and inspiring the rest of the world to get on board with climate solutions

Two decades in the making, the $700 million project has been passed like a baton over three administrations starting with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said Adams. 

Renovated Yankee Pier leading toward a new public plaza and new mass timber academic and research buildings at the Exchange.  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

For the last two years, there was an international search for a team to be the project's anchor, which was awarded to Stony Brook University on Monday. 

"One of our biggest climate impacts is through the rising sea, and so thinking about how we can make our communities more resilient to that through new types of coastal defenses," said Kevin Reed, associate dean for research at Stony Brook. 

Climate Change: Protecting Our Planet

Stony Brook will help build the Global Center for Climate Solutions and lead green research there. The complex will include classrooms, research space and laboratories. 

"It's going to be covered with solar panels and have geothermal energy. So it will not need electricity from the grid at all. In fact, it's going to give electricity back into the grid," said Claire Newman, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. 

Public school students will get to visit the campus to learn about the environment, and each year 6,000 New Yorkers will be trained for new green jobs.

"I've always wanted to work with wildlife and conservation," said Emilio Munoz Levine, a student at New York Harbor School. 

"Passionate about seeing our harbor and our environment clean as it once was," said Omisha Hossain, a student at the Harbor School. 

Adams said it will have a billion-dollar impact on the economy. 

View across a new public space along Division Road, looking toward the renovated historic theater. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

"Creating tens of thousands of jobs, transforming our city into a global leader in developing a real climate solution," said Adams. 

Governors Island, which lies just south of Manhattan, was a U.S. Army post before it was turned into 172 acres of public park and event space. 

Approximately 1 million people visit Governors Island every year. Since there will likely be more once the facility is built, the city announced additional, year-round ferry service. 

"We are committing to running ferry service every 15 minutes during the day," said Newman. 

Groundbreaking will start in 2025, with a projected opening of the Climate Exchange in 2028. But green programming will launch this summer. 

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