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NCCC PLANS UPGRADES USING TOBACCO FUNDS

Niagara County Community College President Antonette J. Cleveland presented the college's board of trustees a list of capital projects Wednesday after receiving a promise of $1.71 million from national tobacco revenues funneled through the county.

Cleveland's priority list includes, first and foremost, spending about $642,400 to repair or replace the roofs over the C and F buildings.

"The good news was getting the $1.71 million. There's no doubt about it," Cleveland said. She added that when crews went to repair a roof last year, they learned the problem was greater than anticipated. "The roof was totally disintegrated," she said.

Second on her list is caulking for buildings and overhangs on the campus, at an estimated cost of $80,000.

She said she'd also like to install a new ventilation system on the C Building roof for $45,000 and replace a light control panel in the auditorium for $176,586.

She also would like to upgrade the apparatus that moves scenery and backdrops on the college's stage, for $94,000, and repair and resurface the outdoor basketball, tennis and handball courts, for $74,850.

"We have outside tennis courts and basketball courts that haven't been repaired for 30 years," said Cleveland.

Also included in her list is repointing all of the brick on the H Building, for $35,000, and replacing the old seats in the theater and making it more accessible to disabled people, for an estimated $124,236.

The estimated cost for all of the above items she called "Priority 1" totals $1.27 million.

Work that comes second on her list, or "Priority 2," includes repairing the roofs on the A, G and H buildings, for $540,000, and replacing the ventilation system in the college's four science labs, for $45,000.

She said she'd also like to move electrical panels out of chemical lab storage rooms, for $25,000, and clean heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts, for $120,000.

Farther down on the list would be a conference center, for $3 million. It could provide business and industry training and would include multipurpose rooms, computer training rooms and a fitness center.

She said she'd also like to renovate the college's science labs, for $1.5 million, replace a multipurpose floor in a small gym, for $140,000, replace single-pane glass in all of the courtyards, for $175,000, and renovate campus restrooms by replacing stalls, sinks and ceilings, for $190,000.

The trustees will receive bid specifications and will then seek proposals on the projects, working with the county Legislature's Education Committee to decide what projects to undertake, Cleveland said.

She added that because the money to renovate portions of the college comes from the tobacco settlement, she feels that some of it should be used to try to prevent smoking. Cleveland said she would like to begin an educational program at the elementary level about the hazards of using tobacco.

College representatives also are seeking money from the State University Construction Fund to help out with accomplishing the trustees' goals, she said.

Trustee Sean J. O'Connor thanked Legislator William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, for helping get his Legislature colleagues to raise the amount given to the college from $1.2 million to $1.7 million.

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