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Prospects outlined for dorms at NCCC

The Niagara County Community College campus could have student housing by August 2007 if the college's board of trustees wants it.

A Rochester consultant told the board Wednesday how a dormitory for 252 students could be constructed in less than two years.

Andrew Pomeroy, the managing principal of Stantec Consulting, unveiled the results of a study his company conducted over the past six months. The board hired Stantec for $32,000 last winter determine whether student payments could cover all costs of constructing dorms.

The study, he said, showed the dorms could be located on the northeast corner of the campus and could house a student for less than $5,000 a school year, making the project self-supporting.

He added that construction could be financed by selling tax-exempt bonds through a non-profit agency established to operate student housing. The bonds could be paid back at 4.5 percent interest over a 30-year period.

Pomeroy recommended the college start with a 252-bed facility and add a second of the same size once the first is in full use. Once that's successful, he said the board could expand college housing to accommodate another 192 students in a smaller complex near the other two.

Each of the first two complexes would consist of three dormitory buildings all connected by corridors to a common building. The third complex would contain two dorm buildings connected to a common area.

Pomeroy said the college already has the physical assets and organization to support on-campus residential life and that a study of the area population shows students would be willing to pay to live on campus once the word got out and people liked what they saw. He said the dorms would be of high quality.

The feasibility study indicates the college could build the first dormitory complex for $12.7 million in 14 months. If action is taken soon, Pomeroy said the first dorm complex could be ready for occupancy by August 2007.

Joan Wolfgang, chairwoman of the board's Facilities Committee, said the college will review the recommendations with the public at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 in Room C-161 on the Saunders Settlement Road campus.

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