Bank donates $50K for FMCC social center plan

A $50,000 donation by NBT Bank to Fulton-Montgomery Community College puts students one step closer

A $50,000 donation by NBT Bank to Fulton-Montgomery Community College puts students one step closer to a brand new social gathering space.

The community bank’s gift to the Foundation of FMCC will help fund Raiders Cove, a modern-day gathering space to be built in the current location of the college’s disused swimming pool. FMCC President Dustin Swanger announced the project last year and said Tuesday that it is still on track to open in the fall of 2012.

“It’s an important lead gift,” he said. “We’re really pleased to have NBT Bank launch us off here, so it helps a lot. The foundation is committed to the project and is in the process of fundraising to support that commitment.”

The college has sustained a long relationship with the bank, which has donated to the college’s campaigns in smaller amounts in the past, Swanger said.

Its current Raiders Cove campaign is part of a larger, $2.75 million project that will include upgrades to the college’s cafeteria and gym.

Both Fulton and Montgomery counties’ boards of supervisors approved the project over the summer. Although neither county will contribute toward the cost, the project required approval to be built on county property.

A 35 percent increase in enrollment at FMCC over the last five years sparked serious consideration of more on-campus housing. With that, students need more places to gather before class and for meals at the rural college in the town of Mohawk, Swanger said.

“In trying to address the needs of our residential students, we thought of Raiders Cove, which would be a place for social gathering and sort of an evening hot spot on campus for students,” he said.

A swimming pool in the Physical Education building that has sat unused and in need of repair for several years will be transformed into the venue. College officials decided not to bother repairing leaks in the pool after they found it would cost about $500,000.

The 6,600 square feet of space will include a wireless Internet cafe, a stage area for various performances, and a lounge with pool tables and flat screen TVs.

FMCC has already engaged in minor upgrades to provide more gathering spaces for students, Swanger said. For example, a student lounge on the first floor of the Visual Arts & Communications building was in “desperate shape” a few years ago, so the college had it painted over and fixed up with a new floor and furniture.

“You see students gathering there all the time now,” Swanger said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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