C-GCC presents master plan; includes $86M in construction projects
Roger Hannigan Gilson is reporting in the Register-Star on the new master plan for Columbia-Greene Community College that was presented to the school's board of directors on Mon., Aug. 15. The master plan is the college's first since 1997. College President James Campion called the plan an organic, malleable document, and said the proposed construction projects included in the plan were based on programming needs. The details will be sorted out during the coming months, he said. Information collected from focus groups comprised of local stakeholders and students showed a very positive view of Columbia-Greene professors, as well as the nursing and automotive programs. The school's location was found to be both positive and negative. The quiet, wooded setting was a big draw, but many of the students expressed a desire to be in an urban setting, and the lack of public transportation was cited as a negative. The $86 million construction proposal contained within the master plan includes maintenance to existing facilities, as well as ideas for expansion, such as an improved daycare facility, new athletic complex, a nursing and medical technology building and a dormitory. According to Gilson, the $6 million dorm proposal was met with "some arched eyebrows." Board member William Haltermann Jr. said, “Given the [estimated] enrollment figures in the future, this is highly speculative." The enrollment at Columbia-Greene has been in decline since at least 2010. Haltermann also noted a study a couple of years ago found a previous dormitory proposal to be unfeasible. Campion said the college would not seek funding for the projects until at least the 2017-18 school year, and the improvements could be phased in slowly. The new master plan coincides with the college’s 50th anniversary this year. Read the full story in the Register-Star.