Panel: Kings Point needs renovation
Facilities at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King Point in New York are in urgent need of repair or replacement, according to a blue ribbon panel appointed by Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood.
According to a report, “several structures, including the academy's piers, have become unserviceable, while others have required urgent repairs to prevent further significant deterioration or safety hazards.”
The academy graduates about 200 annually, but “condition and functionality of the campus does not remotely compare, even adjusting for size, to other service academies,” the report says.
The report said the academy needs to be recapitalized and calls for a clear and comprehensive strategic plan to properly guide capital investment and additional funding to better support maintenance and replacement of facilities.
It said there is a need for additional staff for maintenance and to plan and oversee new construction and renovation, as well as to expand the use of “new and more cost effective educational technologies.”
About 70 percent of Kings Point graduates serve in the merchant marine, 20 percent in the military, and 10 percent in other approved strategic maritime roles, though in 2009, the number of Academy graduates that accepted a commission in the U.S. Armed Forces rose to more than 30 percent.