Collaboration Between SUNY Orange, Orange County and City of Port Jervis Brings College Classes to Pike Street

PHOTO: Sarfatti Education Center in Port JervisPORT JERVIS, N.Y. – SUNY Orange, Orange County and the City of Port Jervis celebrated the opening of the new Sarfatti Education Center (right) at 150 Pike Street in Port Jervis on Wednesday (June 27) during a ceremonial ribbon cutting that drew a crowd of more than 50 elected officials, community leaders, educational administrators and area residents.

The College will officially welcome its first students to the 5,000-square-foot facility on Monday, July 2. SUNY Orange is offering a series of transfer-oriented first-year college courses over the summer with an array of additional classes planned for the Fall semester, which begins on Aug. 27.

The ribbon cutting featured remarks from Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive; Kelly Decker, Port Jervis mayor; John Bonacic, New York State Senator; Tom Faggione, Orange County legislator representing Port Jervis; Annie Rabbit, Orange County clerk; Steven Sarfatti, owner of the building at 150 Pike St.; and Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president.

The center was a collaborative partnership between the County, the City and the College to transform a portion of the building, owned by Sarfatti, into a sparkling new teaching and learning facility. The property at 150 Pike Street has been in the Sarfatti family since 1947.

In addition to providing space so that higher education could be geographically accessible to students in Port Jervis and the surrounding communities, Sarfatti also announced Wednesday the creation of the Sarfatti Family Scholarship Fund that will help make college coursework financially accessible for students attending the Port Jervis site. Sarfatti has agreed to match community donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000 in order to offer modest scholarships to students attending the center.

Courses planned for the Fall semester include: Marketing (Monday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.), United States History 1 (Monday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.); Industrial and Private Security (Monday, 7 to 9:45 p.m.); Substance Abuse and Health (Tuesday, 5 to 7:50 p.m.); Freshman English 1 (Tuesday/Thursday, 4 to 6:50 p.m.); Introduction to Business (Wednesday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.); Fundamentals of Algebra (Wednesday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.); Elementary Algebra (Wednesday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.); and Mandated Training for Educators (Thursday, 6 to 7:50 p.m.; 7 weeks only).

For more information on classes at the Sarfatti Center, contact the SUNY Orange Admissions Office at (845) 341-4050 or visit www.sunyorange.edu/port.

PHOTO: Dignitaries cut the ribbon to open the Sarfatti Education Center in Port JervisQuotes from selected speakers:

Steve Neuhaus: “I am so proud to be here. This (education center) is such a transformative thing for this side of the County. I see so many exciting, good things coming out of this. You are going to change men and women’s lives who are going to better themselves and get a better education.”

Kelly Decker: “Higher education is important. We need it in western Orange County. These are the most premier classrooms in Orange County. Port Jervis is up and coming. We’ve built things up over the last four years and adding (a SUNY Orange presence) is the next step.”

Tom Faggione: “I was born in New York City but I moved to Port Jervis when I was young. This is my city and my community and we are so happy to have the College here. We will show you that this city will support it and we will grow it. This is a great day for our community.”

Steve Sarfatti: “Nothing pleases me more than to see this educational center opened in my hometown. My late uncle and father acquired 150 Pike Street in 1947 to start a business here after my father completed his World War II service. If they were with us to today, they’d be immensely satisfied to learn that the space we’re gathered in that once was their company’s lowly ‘shipping department’ has been put to a higher and better use—higher education.

“My father used to say, and if he said it once he said it 100 times, ‘education is the key that unlocks the door to the treasure of fulfilling life.’ Mom was more pragmatic. She said education was the ‘key to earning a decent living.’”

Dr. Kristine Young: “We couldn’t be happier to be in Port Jervis, and we appreciate the work of the County and the City to make it happen. And we deeply appreciate Mr. Sarfatti’s generosity. We need your help in planning the right courses for Port Jervis. We have 68 years of history in Middletown, and 30-plus years in Newburgh. We know those communities. You know this community. Help us become a part of this community like we have in Middletown and Newburgh.”

Caption: SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young, with scissors, cuts the ribbon on the Sarfatti Education Center at 150 Pike Street in Port Jervis. The 5,000-square-foot center holds two classrooms, a computer lab and adjoining office/conference/support spaces, and will officially welcome students for classes on Monday, July 2. Looking on are, from left, Steven Sarfatti, building owner; Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive; Annie Rabbitt, Orange County Clerk; Kelly Decker, Port Jervis Mayor; John Bonacic, New York State Senator; Flo Hannes; newly appointed SUNY Orange Trustee; Helen Ullrich, SUNY Orange Board of Trustees chair; and Tom Faggione, Orange County Legislator representing Port Jervis. For more information on the College’s academic offerings in Port Jervis, call (845) 341-4050 or visit www.sunyorange.edu/port. (photo by Chris Thurtle)

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940