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New SCCC dorm expected to draw more students

New SCCC dorm expected to draw more students

Schenectady County Community College officials hope applications will soar with construction of new

Schenectady County Community College officials hope applications will soar with construction of new student housing across the street.

Aviation students are expected to be a big component of the new 264-bed College Suites at Washington Square dormitory being constructed at 117 Washington Ave.

There are about 70 students in the aviation and air traffic control program currently, according to Barbara Jones, associate professor and liaison for aviation in the Division of Mathematics, Science Technology and Health. She expects that number to grow.

Jones said she has spent the last 12 years helping aviation students who come from all over New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut to find housing. Having a dormitory right across the street will be a boon, she said.

“It’s always a concern with parents who are letting their 18-year-olds go off in a strange place,” she said.

The four-story, 112,000-square-foot facility, which will be finished in August, is the college’s first residence.

In addition to aviation, culinary arts and music students are expected to be interested in living in the dorm, according to SCCC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw.

“We have so many programs that attract students from not around this area,” she said.

McGraw said student housing has been a long-sought goal of the college. She credited SCCC’s consultant Wally Altes, the former president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, for introducing the college to the United Group of Companies, the Troy-based developer building the $11 million project.

In addition, college officials are hoping the housing project will bring in more revenue. Community colleges receive what is called a “chargeback” fee from the home county of each non-Schenectady County resident who attends SCCC.

McGraw said even though the college hopes to attract out-of-town students, Schenectady County residents are also welcome to apply. The housing will help the college offer a true residential experience for students and build a sense of community, she said.

SCCC President Quintin B. Bullock said student housing will also be a draw for the athletics program, including people who want to participate in basketball, baseball, bowling and crew.

Students must be full-time at the college to live in the dorm. Rent is $635 per student for the four-bedroom, two-bath units and $665 per month for the two-bedroom, one-bath units. There are 63 of the four-bedroom suites, which can accommodate 252 students, and six of the two-bedroom units.

The living rooms come furnished with a couch, end table, chair and ottoman, and a television. There will also be a full-size dishwasher.

The bedrooms come with a bed, desk and chair, according to property manager Michael Kliman.

The price includes high-speed Internet and cable television. There is also wireless Internet in the building and central heating and air conditioning.

The building will include a fitness center, recreation area, game room, business center, study area and rehearsal space for music students, demonstration kitchen for culinary students, flight simulator for aviation students and laundry facilities.

More than 50 students have come to see the model unit since it opened Wednesday, according to Joseph Uccellini, social media manager for the project.

Uccellini said the apartments are being rented on a first-come, first-served basis. People fill out the application and put down a deposit.

“Once you fill out the license agreement, you’re locked in,” he said.

There will be a fence along the Washington Avenue side of the property, which will funnel students out toward one side of the building, according to Kliman.

College officials had originally proposed building a skywalk to cross over busy Washington Avenue. But Bullock said there was a concern that students wouldn’t have used it because it wasn’t going to be directly connected to the college.

Instead, the new plan is to make some improvements, such as widening the median to improve safety and accessibility. In addition, Liberty Park is going to be reconfigured.

Bullock said the space was excellent.

“It would have been great to have this apartment in my days of college. I had one room with three roommates,” he said.

The model unit will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there will also be a representative in Elston Hall, room 113.

For information, call 265-7669 or visit www.mycollegesuites.com/WashingtonSquare.

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