The college had a luncheon on April 9 at East Elmhurst's Marriott LaGuardia Airport, where Vaughn President John Fitzpatrick recognized DeCota, director of aviation for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.The authority and the Federal Aviation Administration will fund a $15 million upgrade project at the college, which will include renovating the interior and exterior of the school's building, a college spokeswoman said. The project will include the construction of a new roof, new windows and mechanical systems, she said.The construction is scheduled to begin in 2009, the spokeswoman said.DeCota said the school has long been a valuable resource to the aviation industry."This is a historic thing you've accomplished," he said. "There are not many schools like this that can claim 75 years. This is Vaughn and the Port Authority's 75th wedding anniversary."DeCota also praised the college for expanding its programs internationally by working with the Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology to offer aviation degree programs at that school's campus in Hyderabad, India. There are currently 60 students taking part in the Sreenidhi program, the college said."When I think about the program in India and the new [renovation], you have vision," DeCota told Vaughn representatives at the luncheon.The school is also raising funds for a new library, community resource center and student center, the college said.The college, on 23rd Avenue at 90th Street, was founded as the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics in 1932 in Newark by pioneer aviator Charles "Casey" Jones, World War I pilot George Vaughn and Lee Warrender and moved to its current location in 1941 at the request of former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The school changed its named to Vaughn College in 2004.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@times
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