Niagara County Community College plans to leave its location in the county-owned Trott Access Center in Niagara Falls next year.
NCCC President James P. Klyczek said the college is negotiating for space in a building near the Seneca Niagara Casino, though not on land controlled by the Seneca Nation. He would not identify the likely new location.
"The college seems to have independent authority to decide their leases," County Manager Gregory D. Lewis said.
NCCC has been in the former Trott Vocational High School at 11th Street and Packard Road almost since the county bought the building in the late 1980s. "One of the primary issues is accessibility for our clients and students," Klyczek said, adding that he wants to be in a location "perceived as safe."
"Back when we bought Trott, I opposed it, but they said they needed it for the students who couldn't get to the (Sanborn) campus. Now we're saying we don't need the Trott building for the college," groused Legislator Gerald E. Meal, R-Royalton.
Klyczek said the college is willing to stay at Trott through May 31, and the Legislature's Public Works Committee reluctantly approved that action. NCCC will pay $178,548, or $12.55 per square foot for 14,227 square feet. The state reimburses NCCC for about 21 percent of its rent.
Klyczek noted that past leases have allowed either NCCC or the county to terminate the deal with 90 days' notice. He said the college will pay the moving expenses.
"We want to move out of there, but we don't want to cut anybody short," Klyczek said. "The county wants us in there as long as possible until they can find someone else (to lease the space)."
Though the county renovated Building G on the Sanborn campus two years ago -- part of a $4.8 million construction package -- for the culinary arts program, Klyczek said, the college will move its hospitality and culinary arts programs to the new downtown Niagara Falls location, as well as all of activities from Trott.
Those include the licensed practical nursing and dental hygienist programs and an assortment of grant-funded job skills programs.
Public Works Commissioner Kevin P. O'Brien said that there has been talk of moving the Probation Department's Niagara Falls operations to Trott from the Angelo A. DelSignore Civic Building at Third Street and Cedar Avenue. However, as an agency in the main county budget, the Probation Department would not pay rent.
Lewis said Trott's long corridors, halls and lobbies constitute a lot of wasted space in the 98,000-square-foot building. He has proposed constructing two new county office campuses, one in the east and one in the west, at a cost of $50 million.