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Chamber opposes NCCC move

SARANAC LAKE The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerces board of directors voted unanimously to support efforts to keep North Country Community College in Saranac Lake. This resolution adds to similar ones passed by the Town of Harrietstown and the Village of Saranac Lake. With the recent announcement that NCCC is interested in purchasing the land of the former Upstate Biotech in Lake Placid where it would move its campus, the chamber has been concerned about the negative economic impact it would bring its members. Moreover, the board also feels that many questions need to be answered. Before supporting a move to Lake Placid, we need to know if NCCC has a business plan and plan sites for the two sites its board of trustees are considering, said Executive Director Sylvie Nelson. We also know that NCCC is concerned that it will outgrow its facilities as they project a rise in enrollment however, we also know that the State of New Yorks population will be declining for the next generation, not to mention our own school districts declining enrollment. How does NCCC plan to generate increased enrollment? The chamber also encourages NCCC to include the community in making such an important decision. NCCC is a dynamic aspect of our community and we all need to be involved in this issue, Nelson said. NCCC is facing challenges such as aging structures and lack of available land to expand its present campus. We can certainly understand that NCCC needs to update its infrastructure to ensure it continues to provide quality education, Nelson said. Still, at this point, with so many questions not answered, the chamber feels that we need to support efforts for NCCC to stay in Saranac Lake. And with the projected costs of renovations and moving being almost equal, we would encourage NCCC to take a look at renovations. A suggestion to alleviate the lack of land the present campus is facing would be for NCCC to purchase the village sand pit, which is located close to its present location.

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