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Pitch to Sell Stony Brook Southampton Rebuffed

Stony Brook spokeswoman says university is committed to the future of the Shinnecock Hills campus.

A Southampton man has started a campaign to urge the State University of New York to sell off the campus in Shinnecock Hills in an effort to save SUNY money and put the land on the Southampton Town tax rolls, but the university says they have no plans to abandon the campus — rather, they are doubling down.

Edward Broidy proposed in a that the campus be sold for executive offices, which, he says, will lower taxes for property owners in Southampton and bring high paying jobs to the community.

"Bringing the college back to life is not the way to help Southampton’s economy," Broidy argued. "Another college or institute will not help the majority of the town residents. Property taxes help; jobs help. Jobs will pick up the real estate market — that’s what helps, not putting another tax exempt entity back in Southampton and calling it an institute."

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has been searching for a new role for the campus after an undergraduate sustainability program was moved to the main campus and the dorms were shuttered in 2010 despite the . Graduate marine science and creative writing programs remain intact, and Stony Brook Southampton has since launched , a semester-long marine sciences program for visiting undergraduate students.

And the university says the campus' offerings are expanding.

"All the academic offerings in Southampton take full advantage of the unique facilities at the campus and outstanding existing faculty," university spokeswoman Lauren Sheprow said. "Introducing new and enhanced programs at Stony Brook Southampton demonstrates the university’s commitment to maintaining world-class academic programs on the Southampton campus, now and into the future."

Sheprow pointed out that the university has a new MFA program in theater and film and hosts nationally renowned summer workshops.

"In addition, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SOMAS), utilizing the Marine Sciences Research Station at Southampton, is engaged in cutting edge research to better understand all threats to the estuarine ecosystems so critical to the environmental and economic health of the East End," Sheprow said.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, an advocate of the college, said Broidy's plan would, in the interest of capitalism, tarnish "one of the most beautiful and culturally important spots in town," while the town already has zoning in place to accommodate office complexes. As an example, she noted that Gabreski airport in Westhampton in undergoing industrial and office park development.

"This country was certainly built on several of the good tenants of 'capitalism,' but it was also built on good and readily available education, farming and aquaculture — and one does not have to replace the other," Throne-Holst said.

"The SUNY Southampton campus occupies a very different role for those of us who care about maintaining a site for education, marine science, and hopefully very soon, the newly conceived Sustainability Institute — as well as being an important cultural center," she said. "The importance of maintaining a higher and continuing education hub in our town, as well as exploring and protecting the sustainability of our region should not be lost on anyone."

Nancy Barell January 31, 2012 at 02:49 PM
This is a joke. NYS spent millions renovating dorms and building labs and never did a feasibility study as to whether they could get students. LIU went down the tubes in disgrace with no investigations and now this fiasco. Put it on the tax roles and give the community and tax break !!!!!!!!!
Henry W. Davoli January 31, 2012 at 10:19 PM
The SUNY system is in high demand due to the high cost of eductation. Long Island needs a marine science program and it is great that Stony Brook intends to expand. Finally the SUNY system lacks a law school and the campus already is in place. The CUNY system is a good example of an affordable alternative for education. The residents of Southampton should not be short cited to loss a precious asset for an expanded tax base.
julie February 01, 2012 at 12:52 AM
On the contrary, the SUNY college at Southampton certainly was attracting the students - admissions had skyrocketted & there were even many more applicants than the college could admit. It was on track to meeting its full enrollment within 2 yrs & showing a return on the taxpayers' investment . It was shut down anyway solely because of the short-sightedness of the new, research-oriented StonyBrook president. Say what you will about the entire fiasco but it is an outright untruth to infer that it needed to be shuttered because "it didnt get the students".
bonnie goebert February 01, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I totally agree with Henry and Julie. Towns and villages and hamlets benefit greatly from a university presence. Mr. Broidy's short-sighted quick fix for this magnificent piece of property is ridiculous. I'm so pleased that Lauren Sheprow and supervisor Throne-Holst stepped forward as quickly as they did to quash this outrageous effort by Mr. Broidy to put a business park in the Shinnecock Hills of the Southampton Stony Brook campus.
Ralebird February 01, 2012 at 09:04 PM
SUNY has a law school in Buffalo. While a second one here, at the other end of the state would be welcome the facilities here for a comprehensive marine sciences program already exist and should never have been closed to undergraduates. The money that SUNY put into completing the library and renovating the dorms is money the taxpayers can't afford to throw away.
Mitch Eisenstein February 02, 2012 at 03:49 PM
My thoughts ? It's proximal to the Shinnicock Reservation. Why not combine the two? Am I nuts? A casino and a University? Yes! And the focus would be on developing gaming to successfully address addiction using advanced mathematical and economic modeling and actuarial research to reduce poverty, reduce addiction, and create ethical capitalism. Combine it with sustainable environmentalism and then you have true Native American studies. Mitcheisenstein@aol.com
Lucy February 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM
The University brought many educated individuals to the East End as college professors and residents year round for the East End. The marine science programs and fine arts programs at LIU and then Stony Brook were excellent resources for the children in the community particularly the high school students. This should be expanded not diminished. There is a great need for continued growth of the Educational opportunities on the East End.
Carmine L. Calabro Jr. March 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Anna Throne-Holst is correct on both points. Kudos. Yes, a commercial morph of the SUNY site would make money and perhaps compensate for budget shortfalls, however SUNY/Southampton is poised to play an important role in the development of new millennial thinking (sustainability). All of Southampton (and the East End) benefits in more ways, beyond the immediate pecuniary, as a University and educational facility (arts and sciences). Stay the course and hopefully SUNY Southampton will be a motive force in shaping the future of the new Renaissance.
Jaime Mott February 22, 2013 at 02:45 AM
I can only hope that SUNY will have the foresight to invest in this valuable resource that we, as east end community members, enjoy as the Southampton campus. The college has always brought more than students to the area, its brought revenue from them as patrons to the community, increased tourism, investments in local infrastructure to support the campus, and more importantly an educational tool that we can have not yet fully realized the value of. Invest in our future, our students, our adults, our community.
Jaime Mott February 22, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Cheers Carmine! Nice sentiments and well said.

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