QUEENSBURY With financing secured, student housing will be a reality as soon as fall 2013 at SUNY Adirondack, officials of the community college announced last week.
“The addition of on-campus student housing to the Queensbury campus marks another major milestone in SUNY Adirondack’s commitment to increasing access to affordable higher education,” SUNY Adirondack President Ron Heacock said soon after the financing was arranged.
“With declining high school populations in our service area, on-campus student housing will allow us to maintain current enrollment levels by accommodating residential students from outside our area,” he added. Plans call for the college to promote the new housing option not only locally, but also in key markets such as Albany, Long Island, northern New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Since 2008, the SUNY Adirondack has been studying the benefits and feasibility of converting to a residential campus.
Construction on the 148,000 square-foot student housing complex will begin this spring. In September, SUNY Adirondack will begin accepting housing applications in conjunction with enrollment applications for the following fall.
Later this summer, the college plans to hire a housing director and other staff to help facilitate the transition, college vice president Brian Durant said.
“We feel there is a direct tie between learning outcomes and student housing,” he said. “By offering housing, we will be in a better position to enhance our residential instruction, athletic, and student life activities, all of which contribute to student success.”
The student housing complex will feature about 400 beds, divided into suite-style living accommodations.
Financed by Citizens Bank, the project is expected to cost $25.5 million.
Since state regulations prohibit community colleges from owning and operating on-campus student housing, the housing will be owned and managed by Adirondack Housing Association LLC, a separate non-profit organization supported by the college and its affiliates, the Faculty-Student Association of SUNY Adirondack and the SUNY Adirondack Foundation. Such an arrangement eliminates public risk associated with on-campus housing ventures.
“Having individuals actually living on site will change the dynamics of our campus,” said Barb Green, President of the Faculty-Student Association. “The FSA team is working to ensure that our campus has the proper infrastructure to accommodate on-campus living, including enhanced food service and other necessities.”
As part of the student housing project, the college’s current on-campus dining facility in the college’s Student Center will be restructured and remodeled. Current plans call for a national-level food service operator to take over day-to-day operations of the facility.