JCC Celebrates Official Opening of College's First Ever Residence Hall

On the heels of its 50th commencement ceremony celebration, Jefferson Community College (JCC) marked yet another milestone in the College’s history as JCC administration, students, faculty/staff, elected officials and community members gathered today for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the College’s first ever residence hall.   Construction of East Hall began in June 2013 and the 98,000 square foot, $17 million facility provides on-campus student housing for 294 students and transforms Jefferson Community College to a 24/7 living and learning campus community. Jefferson joins the more than half of SUNY’s (State University of New York) 33 community colleges that currently offer, or are in the process of building, student housing.   

“When the College developed our 2008-2013 strategic plan, we included a bold initiative that stated we would ‘create a residential experience for our students that promotes academic achievement and social development,’” says Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College.  “That we stand here today, just over 5 years later, celebrating the grand opening of East Hall, is truly a momentous occasion. With East Hall, we have created an enhanced learning environment and college experience that will increase student success and provide an even broader benefit to our students, to our campus and to our community.”

Construction of East Hall was completed ahead of schedule with project management and design/build services provided by Purcell Construction Corporation of Watertown (NY) along with Mach Architecture of Williamsville (NY), Bernier Carr & Associates of Watertown (NY), and Beardsley Design Associates of Auburn (NY).  The building is owned and managed by the Jefferson Community College 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, including bookstore operations, childcare, catering and food service. Citizens Bank provided the financing for the project.   

“The completion of East Hall marks a new chapter for the FSA and the college community,” said Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors.  “We are proud to have been able to play a role in this project which was completed on budget, on spec, and most importantly, with all of the features and amenities necessary to provide a safe and effective co-curricular learning and living environment for our students.”

East Hall is “L” shaped, with two four story wings merging with a single story common area called ‘the HUB’.  Student space in the HUB includes a large lounge, smaller lounge with study space, a technology nook and two classrooms.   The common area also includes the main check-in and security desk, large group meeting room, and office space for two resident directors and dean of students.  The living space features a combination of double bedrooms and single bedrooms in spacious suite-style units designed for 6-person, 5-person or 4-person occupancy.    

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

Over the last several months, the housing team of two professional staff resident directors (RDs) and eight student resident assistants (RAs) has been established and plans have been finalized for Cannoneer Welcome Weekend, scheduled for August 22-24.  Cannoneer Welcome Weekend is an orientation program which kicks off with the moving in of most East Hall residents on August 22 followed by two days of orientation activities for all new Jefferson students, including those who live off-campus.

“Jefferson has recruited a terrific team of resident directors and assistants that will serve as mentors, role models, and resources for residents throughout the academic year,” said Ronald C. Shidemantle, dean of students.  “Students can expect a team of dedicated student affairs professionals working every day to complement the mission of the college and provide a safe, attractive, and comfortable living environment that promotes learning and success.” 

“The ribbon-cutting celebrates the opening of East Hall, and, more importantly for our students, the opening of a residential life program at Jefferson Community College,” said Betsy D. Penrose, vice president for students.  “Studies show residential students are more likely to return the following year and more likely to graduate.  We hope to create a learning community at Jefferson that supports students for academic achievement and for personal growth.”

Speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony included Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College; Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors; Joseph J. LaClair, immediate past president of the Jefferson Community College Foundation Board of Directors;  Christina Schneider, chief financial officer and Mark S. Purcell, owner of Purcell Construction Corporation; Hollis C. Harrington, resident assistant and second-year Jefferson student; and Betsy D. Penrose, vice president for students at Jefferson.   Also taking part in the ribbon cutting and recognized for their involvement in, and support of, the project were James P. Scordo, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees; David J. Schissler, executive director of the Faculty Student Association; Danielle M. Scott, president of JCC Student Government; Robin R. Mach of Mach Architecture;  Joseph L. Thesier, principal with Bernier Carr & Associates and president of the JCC Foundation Board of Directors;  Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators; Robert F. Hagemann III, Jefferson County Administrator; Jeffrey E. Graham, mayor of the City of Watertown; Patty Ritchie, NYS Senator representing the 48th District; Addie J. Russell, NYS Assemblywoman representing District 116; and, Patrick Szalach, senior vice president with Citizens Bank.

Pictured in photo at top:  Jefferson Community College (JCC) president Carole A. McCoy (center holding scissors), is joined by JCC Student Government president Danielle M. Scott (left holding scissors) and David J. Schissler, executive director of JCC’s Faculty Student Association in cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially open East Hall at Jefferson Community College.

Joining in the celebration are (left to right): NYS Senator Patty Ritchie, 48th District; James P. Scordo, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees; Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators; Jeffrey E. Graham, mayor of the City of Watertown; Betsy D. Penrose, vice president for students at Jefferson; Joseph J. LaClair, immediate past president of the Jefferson Community College Foundation Board of Directors;  Hollis C. Harrington, resident assistant; Addie J. Russell, NYS Assemblywoman, District 116; Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors; Mark S. Purcell, owner of Purcell Construction Corporation; and, Patrick Szalach, senior vice president with Citizens Bank.

Jefferson Community College (JCC) president Carole A. McCoy (center holding scissors), is joined by JCC Student Government president Danielle M. Scott (left holding scissors) and David J. Schissler, executive director of JCC’s Faculty Student Association in cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially open East Hall at Jefferson Community College.

Joining in the celebration are (left to right): NYS Senator Patty Ritchie, 48th District; James P. Scordo, chair of the JCC Board of Trustees; Carolyn D. Fitzpatrick, chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators; Jeffrey E. Graham, mayor of the City of Watertown; Betsy D. Penrose, vice president for students at Jefferson; Joseph J. LaClair, immediate past president of the Jefferson Community College Foundation Board of Directors;  Hollis C. Harrington, resident assistant; Addie J. Russell, NYS Assemblywoman, District 116; Jack N. Donato, president of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors; Mark S. Purcell, owner of Purcell Construction Corporation; and, Patrick Szalach, senior vice president with Citizens Bank.