North Country Community College’s proposal to create a applied technology center in the former Lowe’s building in Ticonderoga is drawing rave reviews — as it should.
At the direction of President Dr. Steve Tyrell, NCCC has submitted an application for a feasibility study that could lead to the vacant store becoming a vibrant center of education and commerce. It will be some time before we know if the project becomes reality, but just the proposal has people throughout the area excited.
If the project becomes reality, NCCC will expand its degree programs in Ticonderoga. Specific curriculum have not yet been identified, but Tyrell expects an emphasis on green technology and middle skills. Middle skills are those requiring more than a high school degree, but not a four-year degree.
The proposed applied technology center could serve up to 450 students and could open in the fall of 2016. It will have no impact on the existing Ticonderoga campus or its programs, Tyrell said.
The Ticonderoga program would be based on a similar program at SUNY-Alfred, where Tyrell worked before coming to NCCC. The Alfred program offers college-level carpentry, masonry, electrician and other construction trade training. It also integrates energy conservation, alternative energy use and sustainable building design education and training into its academic programs, focusing on green building technologies in New York State.
Jim Major, chairman of the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance, estimates the additional NCCC students in Ticonderoga would add $1.5 million to the local economy through retail and food purchases.
But there’s more. The project could mean jobs for area residents.
Tyrell said the START-UP NY program could lead to businesses locating in Ticonderoga. That state program gives tax breaks to businesses aligned with the academic mission of a college campus, college or university.
Participating companies in START-UP NY will not pay any taxes for 10 years. Employees in participating companies will pay no income taxes for the first five years.