State budget provides half the funds for $19M in GCC upgrades

Posted 4 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Rendering of GCC’s College and Community Event Center, a $14 million project.

Press release, GCC

BATAVIA – Plans for a new Student Success Center and College and Community Event Center at Genesee Community College have received crucial support from the State of New York.

The new state budget includes funding for the two new buildings at GCC. The state has committed to paying half of the cost of construction. (Click here to see renderings of the buildings.)

“This endorsement of our project by state leaders is certainly exciting news,” said GCC President Dr. James Sunser. “We are grateful for the support of all of our GLOW-area elected state officials. I have no doubt that their support and tenacity helped to secure the funding.”

Plans for the two new buildings grew out of the College’s Facilities Master Plan, which studied current and future needs. The structures are meant to transform the campus in unique ways, supporting the GCC’s academic mission and vision which focuses on three key areas: promoting student success, partnering with the community and maintaining facilities in a cost-effective manner.

The Student Success Center will bring together in one place all the services students need to get their college education started, including the enrollment, admissions, advisement, financial aid and course registration, as well as a variety of other educational and career services. The Student Success Center will be constructed adjacent and attached by a second story bridge to the Conable Technology Building creating a true, outdoor campus quad around the Clock Tower Plaza. The project cost is approximately $5 million.

The state-of-the-art College and Community Event Center expands opportunities for the College to further partner with the community by accommodating a wide variety of events, conferences and sporting activities. At 43,000 square feet the facility will have the largest expanse of public floor space in the four-county region and will attract as many as 500,000 visitors annually. The cost is estimated at just under $14 million.

Just as important as the two new Batavia Campus buildings is the conversion of vacated space into classrooms, labs and other instructional space for critical new academic programs. One of the college’s key priorities is the development of programs that meet emerging workforce needs in the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming region, and help graduates obtain local jobs.

Programs on the horizon include Food Processing Technology, and other agri-business and technology-related programs. The college also plans to begin preparing students for careers in nanotechnology in anticipation of the establishment of the STAMP project in the Genesee County town of Alabama.

With the state funding in place, remaining costs will be covered by the College’s sponsor, Genesee County, and by generous donors who are supporting the Creating Our Future Together Capital Campaign.

“The campaign gives our supporters the opportunity to powerfully leverage their gifts,” said Richard Ensman, director of Development and External Affairs. “Every dollar contributed in support of the campaign leverages more than $5 in other project support, a great incentive to give.”