Schenectady County Community College moved another step closer creating a complete college environment through student housing adjacent to the campus.
The college’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved two resolutions relating to the student housing project during its Monday, July 25, meeting. First approved was a resolution hiring Anderson Strickler, LLC, to do an updated student housing survey for $10,000. In 2007, the group did a survey, which supported housing. Second was approval of the housing project, which has the county entering into a lease with the County Industrial Development Agency and the IDA will sublet the property to United Group.
“This was requested by the firm to support the financing. We want to confirm that the data that we brought forth is still the same and also perhaps to confirm the design and expectations,” said SCCC President Quintin Bullock. “Since it is over three years, they wanted a more recent report.”
United Group would have a 40-year lease on the property with an option to continue leasing the property for another 40 years. The housing facility will be 112,000-square-foot with 264 beds. The majority of the rooms would be four bedrooms with a common bathroom and living room and holding a rent around $600 per month. There would be some two bedroom and one bathroom rentals available for an additional cost around $50 per month. Housing would only be available to college students. Construction would be completed by August 2012 and ready for fall semester students to move-in. The cost would include all utilities, cable TV, internet and the rooms are furnished. Various amenities are also planned too.
County Legislators heard a presentation on Tuesday, July 12, which laid out exactly what the project, College Suites at Washington Square, would entail. Bullock said there is a high demand for a dormitory building and it could create savings and revenue if completed. Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, during the county meeting said the project would produce a $250,000 lump-sum payment on the lease to the county in 2012
Jeffrey Buell, development executive for United Group, said the company, which manages several other student housing projects, runs a tight ship. If any student violates established rules they can be removed from the property within 24 hours.
“It is vital for us to know that we have the support of the college in a project like this and Dr. Bullock has been upfront with us from the beginning that he sees this as a huge need for the college. We are hoping to form a long-lasting relationship,” said Buell.
The enrollment growth at SCCC, said Buell, is another reason he believes student housing will be a sustainable at the college.
“I think for a long time people have been convinced that there is a market here for student housing and I believe the economy submarined previous plans for this project,” said Buell. “It makes a lot of sense in a lot of different areas.”
Bullock said it gives the college a chance to further recruit students from outside the area to enhance the college community. Also, creating the experience of a four-year college is important.
“It gives the students a chance to explore the college life and get a first hand experience of what it means to be in college and being able to engage in meaningful residential life experiences, as well as being engaged in positive activities that we facilitate through our student affairs,” said Bullock. “For the last five years it has been a priority of the board and president to bring student housing as a reality. There have been a lot of requests.”