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NCCC to get housing study next week

Niagara County Community College will have a consultant's report in hand next week on whether it should build student housing, and it will seek bids late this month for an analysis of whether it should start a Culinary Arts Institute.

NCCC President James P. Klyczek told the County Legislature's Community Services Committee on Monday that the college board of trustees will receive the report on housing Sept. 21.

Stantec Consulting Group of Rochester was paid $32,000 for the feasibility study, after a marketing study showed the idea had merit.

Klyczek said if the college decides to build on-campus housing, it will have to choose whether to have a private company construct and operate it or to form its own corporation to handle those tasks. He said state regulations require one of those options to be used.

"This is not your typical capital project where it's 50 percent county and 50 percent state. You can't bond for this," Klyczek told the committee.

He said the college envisions several two- or three-story apartment houses with three students in each apartment. He said nine or 10 other community colleges in New York have on-campus housing.

As for the culinary arts program, Klyczek said original plans to locate it somewhere in Niagara Falls are no longer firm.

"We've gotten feedback from legislators that it would be too much competition for restaurants in Niagara Falls," he said. That's because the program would include a restaurant open to the public and staffed by the students.

Klyczek said the consultant to be hired will be asked to study possible locations in Lockport, Lewiston and Niagara Falls. He said an academic study has concluded the culinary training program would have to operate year-round, not on the basis of two semesters and a summer vacation.

Klyczek warned, "We would need extensive funding because we're in effect building new facilities." He said a separate corporation could be set up to run the restaurant.

Klyczek also reported that Ulrich Development Co. is offering an early renewal of the lease on the college's space in downtown Lockport, which is to run out in about a year and a half.


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