Schenectady County

SCCC’s dorm project may not be completed by fall

Schenectady County Community College’s student housing project may not be ready in time for students

Schenectady County Community College’s student housing project may not be ready in time for students next fall.

The college is committed to building a $12 million dormitory on South Church Street in an effort to attract more students and enhance downtown development. The Board of Trustees in October approved the construction of the 62,000-square-foot building with 215 beds. Work was supposed to start in December and be completed in August.

However, a statement on SCCC’s Web site released Friday said that is unlikely.

“Due to delays in the tight schedule, the student housing project proposed for South Church Street will probably not be ready for Fall 2008. The college will continue to work with developers and the SCCC Foundation on this and other student housing options,” the statement read.

College spokeswoman Heather Meaney said Monday she did not have further details about the reason for the delay.

“I spoke with the developers and they said they wouldn’t have it ready for August, so they’re going to come back to us with a revised plan and a time frame and they would give it back to us within the next 45 to 60 days. They do not anticipate having it ready for fall,” she said.

Columbia Development Companies and BBL Construction Services are managing the project.

Meaney said the developers did not elaborate on the reason why the project is not on schedule.

“They were hoping to break ground in mid-December and that’s what we had as our target and obviously that didn’t happen, so it’s backed up from there,” she said.

Meaney said the college posted the press release on its Web site to inform students. It will be putting a news item in the college newsletter. “We have advised people — please keep watching our Web site,” he said.

Joe Stellato, project manager for the development, did not return a message left for comment on Monday.

College officials were banking on the new housing to be able to attract students from outside the immediate area for its specialty programs including music, culinary arts and aviation science. They were also hoping to attract international students to the college, which has an enrollment of about 5,000.

County officials also hoped that student housing would stimulate development in that section of the city. It would also help the county budget’s bottom line because the county must pay other counties when students attend community colleges outside of Schenectady County. In 2007, it appropriated $2 million for this.

The Schenectady County Community College Foundation — the college’s nonprofit charitable arm — will own the building. Vladia C. Boniewski, executive director of the foundation, said previously the foundation plans to bond the project cost and pay back the borrowing with student housing fees.

Reach Gazette reporter Michael Goot at 395-3105 or [email protected]

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