JCC Celebrates Milestone with Residence Hall Groundbreaking

Jefferson Community College (JCC) celebrated a milestone in the College’s 52-year history as JCC administration, students, faculty/staff, elected officials and community members gathered on June 13, 2013 at a groundbreaking ceremony for on-campus student housing.  Scheduled to open for the Fall 2014 semester, the 298-bed residence hall will provide an opportunity for students who wish to live away from home, or for whom the commute is simply too far, to reside on the Jefferson campus while attending college.  Jefferson joins the more than half of SUNY’s 33 community colleges that currently offer, or are in the process of building, student housing.   

“When we embarked on this project 5 years ago we did it for one reason – our students,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College.  “Our students have always benefitted from the quality of the education they receive at Jefferson, the affordability of our tuition, the career skills they develop and the range of transfer opportunities within New York and across the country. Now we can further enhance their college experience and provide residential students with an even greater edge to achieving academic success.”   Research shows that resident students are more likely to return the following academic year, achieve higher academic success and are more likely to graduate.   

Construction of the $17 million facility will begin in earnest this summer. Project management and design/build services are being provided by Purcell Construction Corporation of Watertown (NY) along with Mach Architecture + Engineering, P.C. of Williamsville (NY), Bernier Carr & Associates of Watertown (NY), and Beardsley Design Associates of Auburn (NY).  The building will be owned and operated by the Faculty Student Association Auxiliary LLC.  The Faculty Student Association (FSA) is a not-for-profit organization that provides ancillary services in support of the mission of Jefferson Community College.  Citizens Bank is providing the financing for the project.

The 98,000 square foot residence hall is “L” shaped, with two four story wings merging with a single story commons area.   The commons area will include study lounges, a café, classrooms, computer lab, large group meeting room, along with storage and office space.  The living space features 220 double bedrooms and 78 single bedrooms in four spacious styles of suites designed for 6-person, 5-person, 4-person or 3-person occupancy.  In all, the residence hall will accommodate 298 occupants, including two resident directors and eight resident assistants.

Each suite is fully furnished including a kitchenette with a sink, microwave, refrigerator, cabinetry, countertop and stools; and a living room with a couch and chairs.  Amenities include a laundry room in every wing, a study lounge and vending machines on each floor, wireless internet through the entire building, cable television, controlled building access and 24-hour security.  The residence hall will be located on the corner of Campus Drive and Rand Drive, within short walking distance to all campus buildings and athletic facilities.

“Our hope is to create a dynamic living and learning environment for students in our service area,” said Betsy D. Penrose, vice president for students at Jefferson.  “The building design is very purposeful in that it incorporates significant learning and study space.  We also recognize that a positive residential life experience leads to personal growth. Students will have leadership opportunities within the residence halls and the ability to participate in activities and events that will bring an evening and weekend vibrancy to campus, which will benefit all Jefferson students.”

“The FSA has a long history of providing support to the College and the campus community through services such as childcare, bookstore operations, food service and catering,” said Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association board of directors.   “With the addition of residence halls, we recognize that we have an opportunity to serve a new population and while we are certainly excited about bringing forth new services, we are equally excited about enhancing existing ones which benefit the entire campus community.”

Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College; Christina Schneider, chief financial officer from Purcell Construction Corporation;  Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors; Juliann R. Schindler, president of JCC Student Government; and Betsy D. Penrose, vice president for students at JCC.   Also taking part in the groundbreaking and recognized for their involvement in, and support of, the project were Michael W. Crowley, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees; David J. Schissler, executive director of the Faculty Student Association; Mark S. Purcell, president of Purcell Construction Corporation;  Donald C. Alexander, chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency; Joseph J. LaClair, chair of the Jefferson Community College Foundation;  Jeffrey E. Graham, mayor of the City of Watertown; Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators; and Patrick Szalach, senior vice president with Citizens Bank.

Standing left to right (with shovels):  Mark S. Purcell, president of Purcell Construction Corporation;  Donald C. Alexander, chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency;  Patrick Szalach, senior vice president with Citizens Bank; Joseph J. LaClair, chair of the Jefferson Community College Foundation; Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors; Jeffrey E. Graham, mayor of the City of Watertown; Michael W. Crowley, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees;;  David J. Schissler, executive director of the Faculty Student Association; Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators; Juliann R. Schindler, president of JCC Student Government; and Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College.

Standing left to right (without shovels):  Philip James, student member of JCC Board of Trustees; Alyssa-Ann McKenzie-Cheri, office manager, JCC Student Government; and (at far right) Darius Martin, marketing manager, JCC Student Government.