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Construction of Jamestown Community College's $30 million campus expansion could begin in January if the Olean Common Council agrees to abandon two city streets within the 11-acre site.

Council members met in committee Tuesday and sent legislation on to the full Council. If approved in early October after a public hearing, the legislation would authorize abandonment of Jay and Clinton streets.

JCC would eventually take over ownership of the two streets, once part of an old residential neighborhood near the city's center, where homes have been purchased and demolished to prepare for the expansion.

Work is set to begin first on a 400-car parking lot, to be used initially as a staging area for construction equipment and activities.

Officials hope that construction on classrooms and other facilities will begin in January, and that the expanded campus will be occupied by fall 2003.

JCC's board of trustees met Tuesday afternoon, awarding two contracts for parking lot work.

Wayne Gravel Products of Olean was selected from six bidders and will be paid $446,354 for paving.

|Ahlstrom & Schaeffer of Jamestown was chosen from eight bidders to instal lighting, at a cost of $114,000.

Council members have not yet seen drawings of the future campus, and Council President Paula Snyder asked that they be presented. Several Council members asked for clarification about other aspects of the project.

Ward 7 Alderman John Padlo asked for more details about a barrier that is to be placed along the property boundary.

Ward 3 Alderman Peter Chicola said some businesses have raised concerns that fewer metered parking spaces will remain around the campus after construction is completed.

Chicola and Ward 1 Alderwoman Linda Witte asked about plans for Hamilton Avenue and Tompkins Street.

Ward 2 Alderwoman Joyce L. Melfi asked about rumors that a new city street called East Avenue will be developed for a campus parking lot access off East State Street.

Mayor James P. Griffin told her that was not a rumor, but is part of a plan adopted by the Common Council in 1998 to alleviate any problems caused by street closures in the expansion.

"From our perspective, it is a given," Gary W. Winger, JCC dean of administration and development, said after the meeting.

He recalled that JCC was wooed by the city during its search for an expanded campus site.

The city promised East Street would be opened at no cost to the college, though it wasn't put in writing, and the project has proceeded on this assumption, he said.

Griffin told Council members that the eventual traffic flow patterns and other decisions affecting Tompkins Street and Hamilton Avenue are up to the Common Council.

In a formal Council session held after the meeting, members ratified Griffin's appointment of Stephen Pachla, a certified public accountant, as auditor.

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