State Announces Completion of $1.5 Million Project to Create The New Cayuga Culinary Institute in Auburn

Dedicated Space for Cayuga Community College’s New Culinary Program to Start this Fall

Governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative Funds Key Catalytic Projects to Revitalize Auburn

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $1.5 million project to create the new Cayuga Culinary Institute in Auburn. Funded in part through the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award in 2018, the project included renovating part of the Plaza of the Arts in downtown Auburn into the Cayuga Culinary Institute, which will serve as a dedicated space for the college’s new culinary arts program this fall.

“A critical component of building New York back better than before is ensuring our communities have vibrant downtown areas that serve both the needs of residents and visitors from abroad,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Cayuga Culinary Institute will help prepare the next generation of culinary and hospitality workers for Central New York and beyond, while also drawing new visitors to the heart of downtown Auburn to enjoy all the city has to offer.”

The project received $800,000 from the New York State Department of State to renovate 2,250 square feet leased space in the Plaza of the Arts building at 161 Genesee St. in Auburn. Interior renovations included creating instructional and event space, as well as building out and fixing equipment for a commercial-grade kitchen and café.

This new culinary program will offer an associate of applied science degree. Affiliated with Cayuga Community College, the program has already received 30 applications for the fall semester and will begin offering non-credit culinary courses for community members in July.

According to State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras, “SUNY is the backbone of the state’s workforce where more than one third of all jobs are filled with SUNY graduates. This partnership brought together by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the Cayuga Culinary Institute is a win-win-win for students, for restaurants and the culinary industry, and the economic vitality of the community. SUNY Cayuga Community College students will now have a brand new, state-of-the-art facility, where they will benefit from hands-on learning experiences to become chefs and culinary professionals that will no doubt lead them to countless job opportunities and careers in this growing field. My thanks to President Brian Durant and the many state and local leaders that made this institute possible.”

Auburn Mayor Michael D. Quill said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative has allowed the city of Auburn to see significant investment in our downtown and we are proud that the Cayuga Community College Culinary Center is the first project to reach completion.  Having this new Culinary Center will be a huge boost to our downtown’s west side and most importantly the center brings a first-class training facility to be at the use of our community college students so that they may be trained to be the future leaders of the hospitality industry of the Finger Lakes.  We thank the Governor for all of his support of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.”   

In addition Cayuga Community College President Brian Durant said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative was an essential element in our vision of creating a Culinary Institute to prepare our students for successful careers in the flourishing hospitality industry. Graduates of our Culinary Arts program will be in excellent position to launch personally and professionally fulfilling careers that also support the continued growth of our region’s private industries. On behalf of Cayuga Community College, I thank the Governor for his support of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and for his steadfast belief in our students and their potential.”