Schenectady County

Armory sale may benefit SCCC athletics

A sports management group is interested in buying the old Schenectady Armory and allowing Schenectad
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A sports management group is interested in buying the old Schenectady Armory and allowing Schenectady County Community College to continue to use the facility for its athletic programs, according to a college official.

SCCC Athletic Director Dave Gonzalez informed the college’s Board of Trustees on Monday that he hoped the transaction would be completed within the next month.

The state plans to stop using the facility after Aug. 1 as a base for three New York National Guard units. Two of the units relocated to the new federal reserve center in Glenville with the other one moving to Latham. College officials have expressed interest in the building.

Gonzalez said he hoped this transaction would be completed within a month, or the men’s and women’s basketball teams would lose their practice space. “We have no place to go,” he said.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Gonzalez said SCCC used Union College facilities, but that is not a long-term solution.

Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen, also a college trustee, said the federal Office of General Services is handling disposal of the property. He said he envisions that the OGS would be willing to do interim leases for the sports program, even if its new owner is not in place.

Gillen said the OGS must follow a process where they have to inform state agencies of the available property. He said it is very unlikely that they would be interested in it.

“If, as expected, no state agency grabs it, they have an option to sell it at a deep discount or nominal consideration to the city or the county if there is a recreational use or a transportation use,” he said.

Gillen said county discussions are under way with this entity who would manage it as a recreation facility. It would accommodate other recreation programs, as well as the college programs. The entity was not identified.

If this is not successful, Gillen said the property would go out to public auction to the private sector.

presidential search

In other business, the board hired the Association of Community College Trustees at a cost of $25,000 in its search to find a new president to replace Gabriel Basil, who will retire in December.

The college would like to have a president named by December with a potential of starting in January or February. Narcisa Polonio, vice president of board leadership services for ACCT, said it was an aggressive but doable timetable.

However, she said if the board needs more time, it could always have an interim president. It even has 40 people registered with its organization including some in New York that could step in if needed.

Polonio said the search committee should consist of 12 to 15 people, smaller than the 20-plus SCCC had considered.

The board also voted to submit three capital projects to the County Legislature for its consideration. The first one is a $3.9 million project to construct a 15,000-square-foot addition to the Begley Building to expand the Music Department programs. This is a revision of an earlier project.

The two new projects would be to construct a covered bridge across Washington Avenue at a cost of $1.5 million and to spend $638,000 to renovate the Washington Avenue and Route 5 entrances to the college, including repair work on the stone steps.

The college wants to expand its campus across Washington Avenue and create a new part of the campus called “Liberty Quad” that would also include a 313-unit student housing facility and other academic buildings.

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