GCC trustees approve plan for Start-Up New York participation

By on July 14, 2014

The Genesee Community College Board of Trustees in June approved a Campus Plan for Designation of Tax-Free Areas for the Start-Up New York Program, Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications at GCC says.

The plan is now under a 30-day public review and will go to SUNY for further review and finally to Empire State Development. “Changes and revisions can be made at any of these review points,” Sutherland says.

GCC’s plan cites key locations within or in close proximity of GCC’s current campuses which present ideal development opportunity.

Specifically cited were approximately 30 acres of land within the Upstate New York Medical Tech Park which is situated directly across from the Batavia campus.  Locations in Livingston, Wyoming and Orleans County were also cited.

Sutherland says the eight potential sites listed for Orleans County are located near the GCC Campus Centers in Albion and Medina. Those potential locations include: The Medina Business Park in Medina; Keppler Site, Medina; Town School, Bates Road, Medina; Pickle Factory, Medina; 1 Bernzomatic Drive, Medina; 111 West Avnue, Albion; Albion Industrial Complex, and 711 Park Avenue in Medina.

Start-Up New York Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate NY program is a state-wide initiative introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year to encourage potential developments on or within one mile of each of SUNY’s 64 campuses by  offering tax-free status to both the company and new employees for up to ten years.

Each SUNY institution can designate up to 200,000 square feet of space for Start-Up New York projects to create new jobs associated with the academic curriculum offered by the connected campus.

“This effort does not supersede the other processes currently in place (with county industrial or economic development agencies),” Dr. James Sunser, GCC president, told trustees. “We will rely on those other processes. For those companies who want to work with us, the first filter the business must meet is an alignment with our academic programs.”

William Emm, GCC executive vice president for Institutional Advancement reiterated President Sunser’s words to the Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Hearald. “Although GCC is responsible for crafting the Campus Plan, the college has been and will continue to work with the various economic development agencies within the GLOW region to develop potential sites,” Emm said. “For example, the potential Orleans County sites listed were all recommended by the County of Orleans Industrial Development Agency.”

The GCC Campus Plan lists the following eleven academic programs that would align with many different business proposals: Business Administration, Biotechnology, Computer Information Services, Computer Support Operations, Computer Systems and Network Technology, Web Design, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Food Processing, Healthcare, and Supply Chain Management.

Sutherland says there is no specific timetable to project development since this will hinge on the nature of any business proposal(s). “Once the Campus Plan is fully approved,” she says, “GCC is committed to reviewing all proposals in a timely fashion. The first order of review is considering how a business plan or proposal aligns with GCC’s mission and our academic programs, and assessing how it will create new, non-competing employment opportunities.”

GCC’s Board of Trustees also recently officially launched the next phase of the college’s Facilities Master Plan by approving an agreement with JMZ Architects and Planners for the design and construction oversight of the new Student Success Center and the College and Community Events Center.

The Student Success Center is a 9,000 square feet facility that will accommodate core student services including the Placement Office, Testing, Career and Transfer  Centers, Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar and other offices currently scattered across the campus.  The two-story building will connect through a second story bridge to the Conable Technology Building and nearly enclose the Clock Tower Plaza on the west side.  Proposed construction cost is $5.2 million.

The 43,000 square feet College and Community Event Center will become the largest meeting space in the region and will offer flexible floor space not only for student gatherings, but also for community events such as trade shows, charitable events, athletic competitions and exhibitions. It will be located adjacent to the College’s current athletic fields and will house both classrooms and office space, as well as food services and a wellness center. Construction cost is projected at $13.9 million.