First commissioned in 1966, the Tryon Juvenile Detention Facility was, for awhile, considered the “Jewel” of New York State’s system of youth detention centers. This 515-acre pastoral campus was complete with first-class facilities including a spacious gymnasium, 255-seat auditorium, indoor pool, automotive repair shop, classrooms and cafeteria. Tryon was perhaps best known as the place that launched the boxing career of former heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson.
For a number of reasons, Tryon and other Juvenile Detention Facilities were eventually phased out of New York’s Juvenile Justice System. By 2006, New York State ordered the closure of Tryon and similar facilities across the State.
The formal closure of the Tryon Juvenile Detention Facility in 2011 resulted in the loss of hundreds of jobs to the Fulton and Montgomery Region in Upstate New York. This closure had a significant negative impact on the Region’s economy. Fulton County, however, had a vision to take the negative consequence of Tryon closing and turn it into a positive opportunity for the Region. Shortly after Tryon closed, Fulton County officials approached Governor Andrew Cuomo with a plan to transform Tryon into the Tryon Technology Park, an innovative project to create shovel-ready land for new businesses. The Plan also included creating an onsite Regional Business Training and Incubator Center. The Plan featured converting approximately 260 acres of land into shovel-ready sites for new businesses. Key infrastructure was already in place, including municipal water and sewer services, natural gas, electricity and telecommunications. Fulton County’s plan was strongly endorsed by United States’ Senator Charles Schumer.
In 2014, Senator Schumer visited the proposed Tryon Technology Park. The Senator recognized that the Tryon Technology Park would be strategically located within New York State’s Technology Triangle and centered between three (3) key high-tech projects – GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Malta, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany and the Marcy Nano Center site in Utica. In 2014, the former Tryon Campus was deeded over by New York State to the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The IDA, in partnership with Fulton County, began the process of transforming the site into the Tryon Technology Park. Fulton County secured a $2 million Empire State Development (ESD) grant to construct a new internal access road and to reconfigure water and sewer infrastructure. In 2015, Fulton County invested over $2 million to install a new water pumping station and elevated water storage tank to provide a plentiful and strong source of water supply for the Tryon Technology Park. Fulton County and the IDA have now completed the transformation of a former Juvenile Detention Facility into the Tryon Technology Park. The Tryon Technology Park is the newest technology park in Upstate New York and offers a prime location for technology companies.