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June 23, 2022 - 8:20am

Genesee County to kick in $1.3 million for college improvements

student-success-ctr-concept.jpeg

Rendering by JMZ Architects and Planners for the new Student Success Center, shows the Conable Technology Building, to the far right, which is slated for a new roof.

It looks like Genesee Community College will be getting a new turf field, cooling tower, arts center connector and a roof for Conable Technology Building, with half of it to be paid for by Genesee County.

The county Legislature approved the request for 50 percent funding — $1.3 million — of the college’s capital projects during its Wednesday meeting.

The projects are to cost $950,000 for the turf field; $1.06 million for a new roof; $410,000 for cooling tower; and $180,000 for the  Arts Center connector replacement for a total of $2.6 million. The Legislature had committed to paying for half in November 2021, and the bill has been delivered. The county’s Ways & Means Committee had previously reviewed and recommended that the county pony up for the expense.

During talks last fall, college President James Sunser had called the projects “long-standing critical needs,” and urged the Legislature to enter into a 50-50 agreement to pay for them. The projects are part of GCC’s Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees before being submitted to Genesee County and New York State’s Dormitory Authority. If the county committed to paying for half, the state would do likewise, Sunser had said.

The turf field will be a replacement for the nearly 13-year-old soccer and lacrosse field adjacent to Richard C. Call Arena; a new cooling tower would replace one that is “well past its useful life,”while an updated connective corridor will be situated between original buildings, from the cafeteria to the fine arts building and theater. A new roof for the Conable Technology Building would shore up one that was part of the original 2000 structure, which has developed leaks, Sunser had said. A new parking lot for Conable, at a cost of $800,000, would have made the county's total $1.7 million, and is not on the list approved by the Legislature.

At that meeting in November, Legislator Gary Maha had expressed concern about doling out $70 million for a new county jail, and that this additional spending was “kind of hard to swallow in one year.” Nonetheless, the full Legislature agreed to the move on Wednesday.

The county plans to transfer $1.3 million into the general budget, with 1 percent of sales tax offsetting the increased spending.

“Genesee County will be responsible for $1.3 million for said projects,” the resolution states.

 

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