The Southern Tier has been awarded $81.9 million in state economic development funding for 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The Southern Tier has been awarded $81.9 million in state economic development funding for 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

Statewide, $715.9 million was awarded to 824 projects.

There were 87 projects in the Southern Tier that got funding. The biggest single award in the region was $5 million for an extension of the Southern Tier Network - a county- and Corning Inc.-backed fiber network in Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler counties - into Tioga and Broome counties.

Also funded were several key local projects. A glance:

• The Corning Museum of Glass got $1.5 million toward a new tour bus entrance. The new entrance, in the courtyard area on the west side of the museum, will feature a 10,000-square-foot, indoor/outdoor reception area with amenities and signs for tourists.

Marie McKee, CMoG's president, called it "a new welcome point for our hundreds of thousands of motorcoach visitors who come to the museum each year from all over the world."

It's part of the ongoing $64 million expansion at CMoG, set to be completed late next year, that will add a glass sculpture gallery and 500-seat theater for hot glass shows. The new tour bus area will include an entrance into the new theater.

• The Inn at Corning, a planned 125-room upscale hotel to replace the old Days Inn in downtown Corning near Bridge Street, got $2 million.

• An initiative called the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, an incubator program for high-tech companies involving the Corning Inc.-affiliated Ceramics Corridor in Gang Mills, Cornell University and Binghamton University, got $250,000 per year over the next three years.

• Arbor Housing and Development got $150,000 toward its $2.9 million renovation of a building on Corning's Bridge Street for its new offices.

• A project to restore Canfield Park on Corning's Southside got $114,000. The project will include grading and drainage improvement, restoration of paths, new benches and landscaping.

• The towns of Corning and Erwin and the Village of Bath each got $30,000 for engineering studies to improve wastewater systems.

• The City of Hornell got $630,000 for improvements of the city's wastewater treatment plant.

• A planned new 64-room Hampton Inn on State Route 54 in Hammondsport, across from the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, got $725,000. The project involves buying the land, demolishing a factory and doing environmental mitigation before construction.

• Elmira College got $2.25 million to help expand its nursing program into a Health Sciences Center, aimed at addressing a shortage of nurses in the region, said Elmira College spokesman Michael Rogers.

The plan is to expand the college's nursing facilities in phases from about 8,000 feet to 25,000 square feet, adding labs, classrooms and hospital simulation rooms. The project totals about $5 million, so the state money "is a big step in the right direction," Rogers said.

The new center will be located on the upper floors of Cowles Hall, which was the original campus building in 1855 but has recently undergone a major renovation.

• Elmira's First Arena got $1.5 million for repairs and upgrades, including ice plant equipment and a new scoreboard with video capability.

• The Clemens Center for the Performing Arts in Elmira got a total of $240,000 for building improvements and marketing.

• A developer's plan to convert Watkins Glen Middle School into affordable senior housing when it closes next year as part of the school district's facilities plan got $900,000. It's part of the larger Project Seneca development plan in Schuyler County. A related marina project in Watkins Glen got $106,000.

• The owners of three buildings in Montour Falls will get $180,000 to renovate the buildings for mixed commercial/residential use.

The developers will finance the projects, then be reimbursed with the state grants.

Tuesday's announcement in Albany was the culmination of an annual competitive program. Three years ago, Cuomo revamped how the state distributes its development money to a "bottom-up" approach, creating 10 regional councils.

Rather than applying separately to multiple state agencies for funding, project developers submit a single application through their regional council. The councils - which consist of local government, business and education leaders - then prioritize those projects, and also craft an overall job-creating strategy.

A state panel visited Corning in late November to evaluate the region's projects and overall plan.

"We're very pleased, because most everything that we prioritized got funded," said Tom Tranter of Corning Enterprises, who co-chairs the Southern Tier Regional Council.

The Southern Tier was among five of the 10 regions deemed to have the best overall strategies, which landed the region an extra $20 million in funding, Tranter said.

The $81.9 million awarded to the Southern Tier includes $30 million worth of low-cost financing and $10 million in tax credits.

Here's how the regions fared in the competition: Long Island $83 million, Capital Region $82.8 million, Mohawk Valley $82.4 million, Southern Tier $81.9 million, North Country $81.3 million, Western New York $60.8 million, Finger Lakes $59.8 million, Central New York $66.9 million, Mid-Hudson $59.6 million, and New York City $57.4 million.