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Expansion of College Village delayed by unexpected soil conditions, harsh winter

Press release:

Mother Nature's record-breaking winter has impacted the construction plan and schedule of the two new buildings currently under way at College Village, the student residence community located adjacent to Genesee Community College in Batavia. At last week's monthly meeting, GCC's Board of Trustees learned that while cold weather and excessive snow has put the construction schedule approximately five weeks behind the original plan, it has also given way to an innovative building solution which will result in a small expansion of the space at the basement level.

Richard Ensman, director of GCC's Foundation which manages the property, reported that although the two new buildings were planned to be "carbon copies" of Hickory and Willow, the two buildings built in 2007, the recent excavation work revealed a different soil variation under one building necessitating an unplanned gravel base. Securing many tons of gravel in Upstate New York at this time of year is nearly impossible and trucking it in from a warmer climate would be costly, Ensman explained. Whitney East, the general contractor on the project recommended a different and innovative solution -- adding a concrete basement to the one building.

"The unsuitable soil conditions have put us behind schedule, but we are pleased that we have a plan to keep the project moving. We carefully calculated the cost variables and for less than the cost of acquiring the necessary gravel, one of the new residence halls will have a basement," Ensman said. "The auxiliary space offers potential for storage and possibly other student study space if properly built-out in the future."

The overall cost of College Village expansion project is $2.84 million and will provide the community with 64 additional beds for a total population of 451 student residents. Each of the two new facilities feature eight suites with four single bedrooms, and a shared common space will allow for more educational, social and instructional opportunities. The project is being financed by a private bond issue.

In other business at the meeting on March 10, the Board of Trustees:

More after the jump (click on the headline)

• Heard that two Genesee Community College Phi Theta Kappa students, Emmeline Vacanti (of Alexander) and Joseph Lubanski (of Macedon) were recognized in the USA TODAY's All-USA Community College Academic Team for exceptional efforts in academic rigor, growth and how well they use their education to benefit their schools and communities. The program is administered by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. In addition, the following four students will be receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence: Michelle Nagle (of Randolph), Yuki Sasao (of Batavia), Emmeline Vacanti (of Alexander), and Kelly Wetherby (of Olean). A full press release will be available soon.

• Heard Kathleen Schiefen, Ed.D, GCC provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs, report that Genesee Community College is continuing to review all college curricula to ensure compliance with required accreditation standards and also with the new State University of New York (SUNY) seamless transfer initiatives intended to encourage timely graduation. Since September, more than 106 curricula changes have been submitted to the GCC's Academic Senate for review. Twenty-two of GCC's academic progams have been registered as 50 percent or more complete-able online. Six courses have been submitted to SUNY for consideration as meeting general education criteria. In addition, 22 GCC faculty members have volunteered to participate in the statewide SUNY discussion group reviewing the seamless transfer program within the SUNY system.

• Heard introductions from following new faculty and staff members: Doreen Bortle, James Brooks, Terry George, Rosemary Jonientz, Juanita Lewis, Heidi Lockwood, Kristen Mruk, Derek Payne and Gail Whalen.

Genesee Community College's next Open House is scheduled Wednesday, March 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at all of the following seven campus locations:

• Albion, 456 West Ave. / 585-589-4936

• Arcade, 25 Edward St. / 585-492-5265

• Batavia, One College Road / 585-345-6800

• Dansville, 31Clara Barton St. / 585-335-7820

• Lima, 7285 Gale Road / 585-582-1226

• Medina, 11470 Maple Ridge Road / 585-798-1688

• Warsaw, 115 Linwood Ave. / 585-786-3010

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