Notebooks, pens and pencils have been put away for the summer for most students, but the Fulton County Community College campus remains abuzz with $3 million worth of construction projects.
The main project is a $2.2 million renovation of the heating and cooling system at the Classroom Building. College President Dustin Swanger said the renovations are needed because some classrooms were being overheated and others were not being heated enough.
“The heat was not being distributed throughout the building,” Swanger said. “It was a major problem.”
Each floor of the building will now have four thermostats so temperatures will be consistent throughout classrooms. Swanger said the previous system only had one thermostat on each floor and was at least 40 years old.
Classroom furniture has been removed and many rooms still have exposed pipes in the ceiling and thick coats of dust on the floor. Classes start in early September and officials said they are confident work will be complete by then.
“There is a critical timeline,” Swanger said. “By Aug. 15, that building must be inhabitable.”
Greg Hillier, the superintendent of buildings and grounds at the college, said that at least seven contractors are working on various projects this summer at the college. Hillier meets with contractors every week to get an update on the status of their projects to make sure all will be done in time for the school year.
“We’ve had to move a lot of things around to accommodate the contractors,” he said. “It’s been a lot of coordination.”
Also at the classroom building, a new radiology lab is being renovated for use this year. It will include a new digital X-ray machine.
At the campus library, flooding had caused basement floor tiles to be soaked on a regular basis. Swanger said that crews had to regularly vacuum the floors last year so classes could continue there throughout the school year.
Six classrooms in the library basement were renovated with new flooring to prevent flooding. On Monday, workers continued to place new white tiles throughout the classroom and hallway floors at the library.
“It was just a constant seepage of water into the classroom,” Swanger said. “It was so bad that the floor tiles no longer stuck to the floor.”
Several other smaller projects will improve water draining and traffic flow at the campus, officials said.
The State University of New York is paying for 50 percent of the combined project costs. The rest of the money is raised locally, with much of the money coming from contributions from Fulton and Montgomery Counties.
Although some project costs have increased since the start of the summer, the budget is still within the planned contingency for such increases, according to Swanger.
“The budget held pretty true,” Hillier said. “Most of the contractors are pretty good as far as sticking with their pricing.”