On December 14, Cayuga Community College marked the beginning of a new chapter in College history at Building for Growth: Fulton Campus Transformation, a formal kickoff to construction at its new campus at the River Glen Plaza.
Dr. Daniel Larson, College president, welcomed more than 100 guests to the event and shared a brief history of the campus, which has seen a 20 percent increase in enrollment over the past five years.
College Board of Trustees Chairman John Camardo described how the Oswego County demographic data and the campus' recent growth indicated a need for this expansion, and also described the economic impact the College has through its employees.
Fulton Campus Dean Maggie Killoran talked about the unique atmosphere and culture that exists at the Fulton Campus, and how faculty, students, and staff members have been working to ensure that the move to the new campus doesn't change that friendly and supportive culture.
College Foundation Executive Director Jeffrey Hoffman explained the significance of the Foundation's purchase of all the storefronts of the River Glen Plaza, except the former P&C Foods building.
"The project represents the largest single impact that the College Foundation has ever had on the College," he said. He also handed out new Fulton Campus lyrics to the holiday classic, "Let it snow," that had the 100 guests singing the refrain, "River Glen, River Glen, River Glen."
Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann and Fulton City Mayor Ronald Woodward talked about the positive economic impact the College has on the region.
For example, the Fulton Campus construction project is helping to jumpstart the local economy by streaming millions of dollars through the community in the form of salaries, equipment, supplies and materials, and related spending.
Cayuga student Michael Fochtman described the students' response to the new campus project and how their voices played an important role in shaping the design and functionality of the new campus.
"There is a great deal of excitement within the student body about the campus moving," said Fochtman, a liberal arts major and the president of the Fulton Campus Student Government Organization. "The planned increase in classroom size, the addition of new science lab rooms, increase in Academic Services, along with simply more room to be able to accommodate the growing needs of the students, has struck a positive cord with everyone."
Following the remarks, the speakers and guests headed to the construction site in the former P&C Foods building, where each person was invited to sign a steel beam that will be erected in the new campus facility.
People then were invited to tour the inside of the gutted grocery store and visualize the transformation that will be occurring over the next eight months. Renderings by JMZ Architects depicted the future views at eight stops throughout the building.
A light lunch was provided to guests, courtesy of the College Foundation.