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DASNY News & Updates: MARCH 2017

DASNY Awards Design-Build Contract for SUNY College at Brockport Residence Hall   

 Brockport Front V3

DASNY and SUNY College at Brockport teamed up to execute a design-build contract for a $21 million, 256-bed residence hall. Through the contract, announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 24, both design and construction services are provided through a single contract to expedite the project and deliver savings. 

Ground is expected to be broken in May and the project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018. The residence hall is being constructed to LEED-Silver standards under the U.S. Green Building Council’s sustainability and energy efficiency guidelines. The selected design-build team includes Purcell Construction Corp. and Mach Architecture.

It is the first time in recent memory that DASNY has deployed design-build, a tool available to all SUNY campuses for residence hall construction through DASNY. Design-build’s application on this project is part of an effort by DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell to expand DASNY’s utilization of alternative project delivery methods to speed delivery, keep down costs and reduce pricing risk for clients. 

"For New York State to continue to win the competition for the world’s best minds, we must ensure our campuses have best-in-class living and learning facilities,” Dr. Bushell said. “Design-build’s speed and efficiency enables DASNY to better provide SUNY College at Brockport and its students with an attractive place to live and learn while lowering housing costs for students in the SUNY system."

Governor Cuomo has been successfully deploying design-build on projects across the state, including for the design and construction of the $3.9 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. The “New NY Bridge” project will form the centerpiece of the region’s transportation system, remains on budget, and scheduled to open in 2018 thanks to design-build. 

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was on hand at SUNY College at Brockport for the announcement. More from the event can be found here.

You can also read the full press release from Governor Cuomo’s Office here.

DASNY Implements ePayables System to Create Efficiencies
DASNY has implemented an electronic payments system to pay vendors either through a credit card or direct deposit into their bank accounts. Putting in place a top-of-the-line payments and processing system enhances DASNY’s ability to deliver for clients and the people of New York State with simplicity and efficiency.

The system, delivered in partnership with Bank of America, helps DASNY build capacity with the tools necessary to provide high-level service. For vendors, the electronic payments will enhance cash flow, save time and money, and reduce exposure to risk all while cutting down on paper use. 

“It is paramount that we deploy the latest technology to provide the very best service to our clients and New Yorkers,” said Gerrard P. Bushell, DASNY President & CEO. “The new ePayables system is part of my ongoing effort to modernize and streamline DASNY.”

Since taking the helm at DASNY in 2015, Dr. Bushell has reworked DASNY’s financing guidelines and policies to provide clients with greater speed, certainty and flexibility. He has expanded the use of alternative project delivery methods to speed up project timelines and reduce pricing risk for clients. He has also implemented new technology, including the ePayables program, the use of mobile technologies in the field and an upgrade to Office 365. 

Outlining DASNY’s Goals for 2017, Bracing for Change from Washington, D.C.

DASNY President & CEO Gerrard P. Bushell sat down with The Bond Buyer’s Andrew Coen for a podcast in March. They covered a wide-range of topics, including Dr. Bushell’s success in his first two years, potential impact of the changes in Washington on the municipal bond market, and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for free-tuition for middle-class New Yorkers at the State’s public universities and colleges. They concluded by discussing Dr. Bushell’s goals for the future. 

Below are excerpts followed by a link to the full podcast:

Andrew Coen (AC): How would you sum up your first year and a half at DASNY?

Gerrard P. Bushell (GPB): We've had an incredible almost two years. Don't take my word for it. Talk to our clients. In 2015, we had an incredible year in terms of leading the nation as the top issuer.  Exiting 2015, we spent a tremendous amount of time and attention working with our clients both public and private to talk about what types of solutions we could provide for them. We also highlighted to them that we want to compete for their business. We want to be their partner.

AC: What would you like to see out of the Trump administration to help bond issuance?

GPB: We think it's important to preserve the tax exemption. That's a concern that we have because there's a lot of discussion around tax policy and we continue to be on the forefront of advocating that tax-exempt financing will be the floor, the bedrock of supporting any initiative. So, whatever dollars the administration comes up with, it's still going to be significantly short in terms of supporting infrastructure across the entire nation. We recognize tax-exempt financing will be the bedrock of how you move the needle. You've got to preserve the tax exemption.  

AC: How will Governor Cuomo's proposal to make public college tuition affordable for middle- class families impact higher education borrowing?

GPB: We are going to be supporters of the Governor and his initiative to make higher education more affordable and attractive to families in the state and across the country, but most importantly, supporting these institutions as they fulfill their long-term capital needs.

AC: What are your goals for this year and beyond?

GPB: We will continue to focus on process improvements, identifying efficiencies to how we service our clients, and managing risk. You've got to manage risk as we go into the market and as we execute. Secondarily, focusing on collaboration, identifying synergies, eliminating silos inside of DASNY, having a lot of collaboration as we work with our clients. Thirdly – innovation and a focus on higher-impact strategies.

DASNY wants to win the competition for the best minds and the best talent in higher education. We want to continue to transform health care. We will continue to support resiliency and sustainability. We will continue our financing of world-class health and science research centers. The support we provide in each of these pillars will ensure there is equal access to health care and higher education. We have to be the best, and we also have to be inclusive and accessible.

You can listen to the full interview here.

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