A $10 million project that has the potential to "change the face" of Jamestown Community College's local campus is officially under way.
Ground was broken Tuesday afternoon on the Curtis Street side of the Hamilton Collegiate Center and the library building for two new student housing units. Officials said it will allow 220 students to have a "total student life experience" beginning in the fall of 2008.
JCC President Greg DeCinque said at that point the college will have students on a "2 4/7 " basis. DeCinque said the housing is in response to a question he has heard many times in his 14 years at JCC.
"The thing I probably heard the most often was, 'When are you going to get residence halls?' Or more specifically from parents, 'I would love my child to go to JCC, because I value the educational experience. But I'd like them to also have a residential experience.' "
DeCinque admitted to feeling a "bit of reservation" about this step but is excited at the same time. He said the housing units will be of the highest-quality.
Bob Barber, vice president for administration and the point man for the project, said the design firm they worked with said that, despite the hilly terrain, the location off Curtis Street was the best place for student housing.
"You need to have your students close to the library, to the student union, to the cafeteria, to the phys-ed building," Barber said. "We listened to them talk about this project, and we said, 'Yes. That's where those buildings need to be.' "
Barber said the units will contain suites with a kitchen-dinning room, living-room area, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The project is being financed through civic facilities bonds obtained through the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.