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FREDONIA – Fredonia State College is seeking a $15 million grant to locate a research vessel and building on the shores of Lake Erie in Dunkirk.

Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce, who confirmed the project this week, said he believes the facility would be a huge asset to the city’s waterfront.

“We are working closely with the college on this proposal,” he said.

The city recently received $790,000 to fund a seawall replacement project and add recreational facilities to the city parks area on Lake Front Boulevard.

The $15 million grant the college is seeking would fund construction of a 32,000-square-foot science and education center.

Laboratories and a museum with rotating exhibits are also planned.

The grant also would cover a 50- to 60-foot research vessel to be located in Dunkirk Harbor. The plan would use land already owned by the City of Dunkirk.

The site would be the second facility opened by Fredonia State in Dunkirk.

The technology incubator is located on Central Avenue just two blocks away from the harbor.

Dolce said the technology site already allows potential Dunkirk developers to take advantage of the StartUp New York funding supported by the Governor’s Office.

He said the funding would target most of the downtown and harbor area, as a one-mile radius from a college campus is required for developers to apply for the funds.

Dolce said that the city’s planning office will use this as an incentive to encourage businesses to locate in the Dunkirk area.

Applicants for the new StartUp funds must have their plans approved through the Empire State Development Corp.

The college also will be soliciting proposals for an economic study of the area to document the impact that the university has on the northern Chautauqua area.

Data collected will focus on the ways that the college can positively impact the region in terms of economic development, employment, generating tax revenue, growth, housing and quality-of-life issues.