Fulton-Montgomery Community College winter athletes have won some relief from unforeseen costs associated with returning early to campus, thanks to an agreement this week with the privately operated Campus View Apartments.
Student athletes were to pay $400 to return to the college-designated apartments adjacent to the Route 67 campus before the start of classes later this month. Early returning students will now pay $200, according to college President Dustin Swanger. Work study program arrangements will be made for students unable to pay the $200, Swanger said.
This is the first year that the college has managed the Campus View Apartments.
The apartment complex’s new owners, Gross and Cohen Real Estate Investors of Amherst, Mass., charged the early returning students at the per semester rate of $2,400 for the approximately three additional weeks during the winter semester break. Swanger said the college was notified in October that there was going to be a $400 charge for students who wished to live in the apartments during winter break and he said a notice was issued to residents in November.
“There was a miscommunication between the athletes,” Swanger said. “Apparently they thought they didn’t have to pay.”
Once college officials realized that athletes had no place to go and were staying with friends, they went into “crisis mode,” Swanger said, and they came up with an alternative.
According to Swanger, 16 student athletes are affected. He also said two students are staying in the apartments during winter semester who are not athletes.
Kevin Jones, FMCC athletic director and varsity girls basketball coach, said he takes responsibility for the mix-up. Typically, winter sports teams return early to campus to practice and play several scheduled games. Jones said the change in apartment ownership resulted in some new operating procedures that he overlooked, he said.
“This was a mistake from my end,” he said. “Usually we do come back early, but this fee was just added on.”
Jones said the athletes were only inconvenienced for a few days and he is glad that the college quickly resolved the situation. “This is just an unfortunate situation, it got resolved and everyone is in agreement,” he said.
Swanger said managing the campus apartments has been a learning experience for the college and he plans to work with the landlord to come up with a better solution next year.
“This is our first year doing this, so obviously we’re having some growing pains,” he said.
Jones said he might have to alter the athletic schedule by a few weeks next year, but he doesn’t like the athletes to be unproductive for a whole month.
“These kids are playing basketball every other day and then they come back after a long break and they aren’t at their highest level,” he said. “We want to keep them playing.”
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Categories: Schenectady County