The Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency may give tax breaks to support plans for SUNY Adirondack to expand its presence in Wilton.
Developer Mountain Ledge Limited Partnership has applied to the agency for $600,000 in tax breaks to help the college afford the move.
“I don’t believe there’s a better project out there for growth and economic development than an institute of higher education,” said Dean Kolligian, managing partner of Mountain Ledge.
The college, formerly Adirondack Community College, wants to move to a new $7 million building on Mountain Ledge Drive. The 32,500-square-foot building would offer triple the space the college now occupies in Wilton. Adirondack has outgrown its current building, which it has occupied for 15 years, Kolligian said.
Mountain Ledge would build the structure and lease it to the college; Kolligian said the tax breaks would be passed on to the college in lower lease payments.
The Wilton location is a satellite of SUNY Adirondack’s main campus in Queensbury. College officials say the expansion will allow it to roughly double the current Wilton enrollment of about 133 full-time-equivalent students and add more part-time faculty.
College Vice President Bill Long said the goal is to attract more Saratoga County students and help prepare them to work at GlobalFoundries and in other high-tech jobs.
“We have had a number of conversations with GlobalFoundries. We have computer science and other degrees that GlobalFoundries wants. They have told us they want two-year degrees,” Long said.
He said SUNY Adirondack doesn’t consider itself to be competing with Hudson Valley Community College, which has a semiconductor manufacturing training center in Malta, near the GlobalFoundries site.
“We feel we have a different niche,” Long said, noting that high-tech companies have said they need people with liberal arts degrees.
The IDA, meeting Wednesday in Ballston Spa, agreed to hold a public hearing Oct. 11 on a proposed five-year property tax exemption for the project. That, along with other IDA tax breaks, would result in total tax savings of nearly $600,000.
The new building would be near the existing college site on Route 9, which the college would vacate. Kolligian said Mountain Ledge, which also owns the current building, is negotiating with potential new tenants.
The town of Wilton recently changed zoning to allow educational institutions at the site, in a small commercial development park.
“The town is totally supportive of this project,” said Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson.
The IDA’s public hearing will be at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at Wilton Town Hall. The agency expects to act on the application after that hearing.
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