Hempstead awards $8 million in CARES funds to colleges

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Don Clavin, pictured in 2019, announced the Town of Hempstead is giving CARES funds to four area colleges. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin announced Tuesday that the town is awarding $8 million in CARES funds to four colleges within the town: Hofstra, Molloy College, Adelphi and Nassau Community College will receive $2 million apiece.

Clavin said the colleges, which have plans to welcome back students for the fall semester, contacted the town asking for resources to implement COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment and shields to go between students.

“Nassau Community College is proud to serve the county and all the communities within. As a part of SUNY, we rely on the contribution of funds from our county and state to continue o provide our NCC students with a high-quality education at an affordable tuition,” NCC president Dr. Jermaine F. Williams said.

The other colleges expressed similar gratitude.

“This grant is vital to Hofstra University’s efforts to keep our community safe and healthy,” Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz said.

Clavin said the funds are only to be spent on COVID-related expenses and all the colleges will have to submit receipts of expenditures to the town. The town has also retained a law firm in Washington D.C. that will give further review to the colleges’ spending of CARES funds.

Colleges’ plans to bring back students in the fall has become a controversial issue nationally. Clavin said he supports the decision to bring students back, as long as it is done with safety measures in place.

“I support them coming back,” Clavin said. “These institutions put together a plan to safeguard the students, faculty and the workforce. I’m a firm believer that if you do it right, if you have plans set forth, we can be successful in opening the colleges and schools in a safe manner.”

If further funds are needed to keep the safety measures in place, Clavin said he would consider giving more CARES funds to the colleges at some point down the line.

“We’ll continue using these funds for the betterment of all entities,” he said.

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