Dedication set for Kelly Adirondack Center

Publication Date

The College will formally dedicate the Kelly Adirondack Center Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m., with a reception and open house to follow.

Adirondack house

The event is open to the campus community. Parking at the center is limited. A shuttle will leave from Feigenbaum Hall at 12:30 p.m. and return to campus beginning at 1:45 p.m. The last shuttle leaves the center at 2:30 p.m.

Through the generosity of longtime Union benefactor John E. Kelly III '76 and his wife, Helen-Jo, the College was able to purchase the building complex in 2011 from a private conservation group. Kelly, senior vice president and director of research at IBM, is a member of the College's Board of Trustees.

The decision to acquire the property and preserve and expand its use as an educational learning center reaffirms and builds upon the College's long connection to the Adirondacks and is consistent with President Stephen C. Ainlay's major initiative of capitalizing on Union's location.

Set on several acres three miles from campus in Niskayuna, the Center includes a historic 2,400 square-foot Dutch replica home built by noted Adirondack conservationist Paul Schaefer in 1934 that is used for offices and meetings. A 3,900 square-foot addition completed in 2005 houses additional offices, conference rooms and the Adirondack Research Library.

The library boasts the largest collection of material outside of the Adirondack Park, including rare books, maps, photographs, documents and the personal papers of some of the region's foremost conservationists. Records of the material are being integrated into the Schaffer Library catalog. The library is open to the campus community and public Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

The building, at 897 St. David's Lane, is surrounded by award-winning perennial gardens and a bluestone amphitheater. The property borders the H.G. Reist Sanctuary, an 111-acre preserve that has been used by the Biology Department as a natural outdoor laboratory.

In recent months, the Center has hosted a series of public lectures and musical events, including conservationist and author Bill Weber, Adirondack singer and storyteller Dan Berggren and a photo exhibit by Matt Milless, director of Student Activities.

To learn more about the Kelly Adirondack Center, click here.