Innovative Partnership Recognized with Connecticut Main Street Center Award of Excellence
The Downtown Manchester Special Services District is pleased to announce that the Manchester Community College Foundation, the Town of Manchester (Board of Directors and Staff) and First Niagara Bank have been awarded a 2014 Connecticut Main Street Center Award of Excellence in the “Main Street Partnerships” category for MCC on Main -- the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center and Axis901, an entrepreneurial co-working space.
The Victorian-era commercial building, located at 901-903 Main Street, was donated to the Town of Manchester by First Niagara in 2012, to support Manchester Community College’s expansion into the downtown community and to help expand educational programming.
“MCC is honored to be part of this unique partnership to create a college town atmosphere that brings youth, new energy and economic vitality to our wonderful, historic Main Street,” said Dr. Gena Glickman, president, MCC. “This award recognizes the positive impact we can have when we work together to help transform our community.”
Through the introduction of the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center and Axis901, the Downtown Manchester brand has been strengthened and rejuvenated by a new generation of creative and innovative residents.
“This entire project, to support and encourage artistic and entrepreneurial enterprise in Manchester’s Downtown, has been possible because of the example of the entrepreneurial spirit shown by the MCC Foundation and the Manchester Board of Directors in believing in a new idea and having the confidence to make it happen,” noted Scott Shanley, general manager for the Town of Manchester.
In addition to the building donation, First Niagara provided the MCC Foundation with a $500,000 unrestricted grant over five years, which is currently being used to fund various educational initiatives.
“We are pleased to see the impact MCC’s new downtown campus has had in the community,” said First Niagara New England Region President David Ring. “First Niagara is proud to contribute to the revitalization of Downtown Manchester, and support initiatives that enhance the quality of life for its residents.”
The Downtown Manchester Special Services District recognized the unique collaborations that resulted in this project, and were pleased to nominate partner organizations for this award.
‘We were fortunate to have a bank with a philanthropic spirit, a college with a genuine desire for a downtown presence and a forward thinking town government that was not afraid to think out of the box.” notes Ed Firestone, chair of the Downtown Manchester Special Services District.
The Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) is a champion and leading resource for vibrant and sustainable Main Streets as foundations for healthy communities.
The Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence were created in 2003 to recognize outstanding projects, individuals and partnerships in community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and commercial districts back to life. Awards are presented in six categories representing a wide range of strategic downtown revitalization efforts.
Judging criteria included innovation, replication, representation, partnerships utilized and outcomes. Award recipients will be recognized at the 2014 Connecticut Main Street Awards Gala on June 9 at Roia Restaurant in Downtown New Haven.
For Additional Information Contact: Mike Jordan-Reilly, Public Relations at 860-512-2914