GCC Capital Project Passes SEQRA Environmental Review Board of Trustees Hears

Capital Project Moving Ahead

Dansville, New York — When Diane Torcello, chair of Genesee Community College Board of Trustees stated “motion carried” regarding Agenda Item 5.4 of last Monday’s monthly board meeting, there was a dual significance. The College’s Capital Project which includes constructing two new buildings at the Batavia Campus had just completed the necessary SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) process and a “Negative Declaration” was determined. With the Board’s “motion carried,” GCC can steadfastly move ahead and fine tune the design, planning and scheduling of the $20 million transformative project.

With JMZ Architects and Planners, PC working as a consultant on all phases of the project, GCC acted as the Lead Agency for the purposes of a coordinated SEQRA review. Twelve outside organizations and agencies were contacted regarding the environmental impact of the project, among them: Genesee County Highway Department, New York Thruway Authority, Town of Batavia, Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dormitory Authority of NYS and SUNY. The environmental assessment included, but was not limited to, the impact on land and surface water, bedrock, air quality, agriculture, historic and archaeological sites, transportation, infrastructure, human health, and community character and plans.

“We have not found any significant impact, and nothing controversial. The project really is compliant with all local, state and federal initiatives,” Robert Joy, managing principal of JMZ Architects and Planners told Trustees.

The project follows GCC’s Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the Board and SUNY more than a year ago. It includes two new buildings, the Student Success Center attached to the main building, and the College and Community Events Center. Joy pointed out that as most design efforts are refined - they “always get better.” In this case, the plan to relocate GCC’s Child Care Center to the new Events Center, and annex the space for the tightly squeezed kitchen and food service area has been carefully reconsidered.

Upon further study, the existing food services space can be gutted and renovated with an open floor plan to accommodate the needs of American Food and Vending (AFV), GCC’s food services provider. The cost of the dining hall and kitchen upgrades will be paid for, in part, by AFV—providing the local share of funding for the project. And with SUNY’s approval, the College would be granted additional state support for these capital improvements, eliminating any funding from Genesee County.

In addition, the exact site of the College and Community Events Center has also been further studied. Locating it adjacent to the newly built Soccer and Lacrosse Turf Field will likely save significant dollars by tapping into the existing utility infrastructure and eliminating the need to relocate the service roadways. This allows planners to include a second floor press box for the Turf field in the design. Without the Child Care Center inside the Events Center, other new potential amenities within the Events Center are also under review.

The term “motion carried” is an apt description for the project, indeed. To learn more, the community is invited to the “Creating Our Future Together” Campaign Kickoff tomorrow, November 18 from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the Batavia Campus.

For further information contact Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications at 585-343-0055 x 6616 or dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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