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ECC marks construction milestone for STEM building on North Campus

Erie Community College marked a construction milestone this week with a "topping-off" ceremony for its new science and technology building on the North Campus in Amherst.

Crews have completed the steel structure for the $30 million, 57,000-square-foot building, which is going up along Youngs Road and will complete a quadrangle on the North Campus that includes Gleasner Hall, the college library and the Spring Student Center.

The college broke ground on the building last August following years of delays, including a threatened lawsuit by a losing bidder on the construction contract. The state initially approved $15 million in funding for the project in 2010. Erie County and the college are splitting the other $15 million cost of the building.

College officials said the STEM building provides a long-overdue upgrade to ECC's aging Amherst campus, allows the college to better market itself and allows it to expand and consolidate its nursing program at City Campus.

Several thousand people signed the 17-foot-long beam used in the topping-off ceremony while it was on display in the student center prior to Monday's event, said Michael J. Pietkiewicz, senior vice president of operations at ECC. The beam will be exposed to the public in a stairwell of the building.

ECC expects work on the building to be completed this fall and classes to start in the building in January 2018.

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