Genesee Community College Board of Trustees Reviews New Facilities Master Plan

Last evening, Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees reviewed a new Facilities Master Plan that could eventually add athletic, arts, and modern laboratory facilities to the Batavia Campus. The Board will invite architect Robert Joy, who created the draft of the plan, to further discuss the plan with the Board of Trustees before approving it.

The Facilities Master Plan is a guide to possible capital improvements over the next decade. The State University of New York requires that all SUNY campuses periodically adopt updated facilities master plans. The plans ensure that capital improvements meet compelling college needs, and state funding for campus improvements is directed toward projects identified as high priorities in the facilities master plans.

Past facilities master plans have resulted in important additions to the Batavia Campus, such as the Conable Technology Building and the Humphrey Student Union. These new facilities enabled the College to stay abreast of student needs and maintain its reputation as one of the state’s leading community colleges, architect Robert Joy, of Joy, McCoola & Zilch, the Glens Falls architectural firm that prepared the Facilities Master Plan, told trustees several months ago.

The new plan includes a number of improvements to the Batavia Campus, including:
• New baseball, softball, and soccer fields with built-up turf
• An outdoor soccer/lacrosse stadium with synthetic turf, bleachers, and stadium fencing, suitable for college and community use
• A wellness building, which could include a field house, modern fitness center, classroom space, offices for coaches, and a press box
• A teaching art gallery located in the Genesee Center for the Arts
• A flexible “black box” theatre, also located in the Genesee Center for the Arts
• Refurbishing of floor surfaces and other fixtures
• Modernization of biology labs
• Replacement of the Batavia Campus roof and outdated mechanical systems
• Creation of additional “smart classrooms” that incorporate advanced technology

The plan is compatible with the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s Med Tech Park, to be located on the south side of Hawley Drive. A possible College-YMCA wellness and recreation center could also be constructed in conjunction with the plan.

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

• Heard Dr. Virginia M. Taylor, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, report that applications from prospective students for the Fall 2007 semester totaled 1,601 as of February 22, up 8.1% from the 1,481 applications received exactly one year earlier.
• Heard Dr. Taylor report that Swimming Coach Scott Hunsinger has been named NJCAA Coach of the Year.
• Heard President Stuart Steiner report that Andrea Ziehm is joining the staff as a Technical Specialist/Casework Facilitator in the Liberty Partnership (LIFE) program. Ms. Ziehm has served as Workforce Development Coordinator for Niagara County Community College’s Liberty Partnership program, and has served on a part-time basis as casework facilitator in Genesee’s Liberty Partnership program. She holds a B.S. degree from SUNY Brockport.
• Heard Dr. Larene Hoelcle, Vice President of Human Resources and Planning, report that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccreditation team finished its visit to Genesee last Wednesday. Reporting on the comments made by team chair Dr. Elaine Ryan at the close of the visit, Dr. Hoelcle said that her comments “were the best you could possibly hear from an external Middle States team.” The Middle States Commission will shortly forward a written summary of the team’s report to the College and will vote on reaccreditation by June.
• Heard trustees Melvin J. Wentland, Diane D. Torcello, and Laurie J. Miller report that about 400 area residents attended the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s awards dinner at the Batavia Holiday Inn Saturday evening. Genesee Community College was given the Special Service Recognition of the Year award in honor of the College’s 40th anniversary. Ms. Torcello praised the slides depicting the College’s forty years of service to the region.
• Heard President Steiner report that that Mary Platt, Professor of Psychology and Judith Sikora, Professor and Coordinator of Library Services, will retire this summer.
• Approved a resolution of appreciation for the life of Neil T. Burns for his contributions to the College. Mr. Burns, who died last week, was a founding trustee of the College.