State grant to help FMCC refurbish classrooms

Besides a more efficient Classroom Building this fall at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, studen

Besides a more efficient Classroom Building this fall at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, students will also have new furniture in those classrooms by the spring thanks to a $250,000 state grant arranged by Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna.

“We are really excited about this opportunity,” college President Dustin Swanger said.

Swanger said without Farley’s help the college would not have been able to complete phase two of the renovations to the classroom building.

Because of limited funding in the state budget, FMCC was given only $211,000 for capital improvements for the next five years. Swanger said the college submitted a project wish list of $10 million.

“Some of the community colleges made out OK, but seven of us got nothing or next to nothing,” Swanger said.

The college has already begun work on a $2.2 million project to update the building’s heating and cooling systems, among other updates. The college received money for this project earlier, Swanger said.

The second phase of the project would have included minor construction and the replacement of the building’s 40-year-old furniture.

“When the senator called and asked what he could to do help, I told him even if we could replace the furniture it would make such an impact and he was supportive of that idea,” Swanger said.

“As a former college professor, I know firsthand how important it is for teachers to have the right tools and quality facilities to help them teach students,” Farley said. “It’s vital in today’s world to have a higher education to succeed. By improving FMCC, we are improving our young people’s education.”

Most of the furniture is in the form of tables and arm chairs from 40 years ago, Swanger said.

The furniture was sufficient at the time because students mostly came to class with a notebook. Today’s students bring their books, notebooks and laptops and need more room to spread out.

“Students need more space, we don’t have it and we need to,” Swanger said.

Of the 35 classrooms in the classroom building, nearly all of them will be outfitted with new furniture. The building also has about 10 computer labs and about four lecture halls.

“It will be a whole new look and feel to the classroom building,” Swanger said. “It will absolutely transform the classrooms.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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