GCC breaks ground for two new facilities at Batavia Campus

By on May 9, 2016
Craig Yunker, Chair, Genesee Community College Foundation; Diane Torcello, Chair, Genesee Community College Board of Trustees;  Eunice Lewin, SUNY Trustee;  Dr. James Sunser, GCC President;  and Raymond Cianfrini, Chair, Genesee County Legislature, officially break ground for two new facilities at the GCC Batavia campus. K. Gabalski photo

Craig Yunker, Chair, Genesee Community College Foundation; Diane Torcello, Chair, Genesee Community College Board of Trustees; Eunice Lewin, SUNY Trustee; Dr. James Sunser, GCC President; and Raymond Cianfrini, Chair, Genesee County Legislature, officially break ground for two new facilities at the GCC Batavia campus. K. Gabalski photo

Calling it the largest new construction project since the Batavia main campus was built 50 years ago, GCC President Dr. James Sunser welcomed residents, community leaders, students and college faculty and staff to a ground breaking April 28 at the sight of what will be the new Student Success Center, a two-story 18,478 square feet building, which will become the college’s new “Front Door.”

Also included in the project is a new two-story Event Center, which will be built at the far west side of the Batavia campus adjacent to the soccer and lacrosse turf field. The 56,614 square feet facility will include the largest open public space in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties.

Dr. Sunser and Genesee Community College Foundation/Creating Our Future Together Campaign Chair Craig Yunker, called the ground breaking, “an extraordinary day in the history of Genesee Community College.”

“In 15 months, we will all come together to cut ribbons and walk through doors,” Sunser said.

Completion of the $24.65 million project is targeted for the summer of 2017.

An enthusiastic Eunice Lewin, SUNY Trustee, called GCC a key economic driver in the region and noted the ground breaking is only the beginning.

“This is an incredible development for Genesee County and the surrounding community,” Lewin said.

Genesee County Legislature Chair Raymond Cianfrini said the project will make GCC the best community college in the state and beyond.

“This visionary plan recognizes how GCC touches on every facet of community life … it contributes powerfully to our regional economy,” he said.

The project is being supported by New York State, Genesee County, and by local citizens through the GCC Foundation’s “Creating Our Future Together Campaign,” which has exceeded its goal of $5 million, collecting $5.4 million through 507 gifts.

The Student Success Center will connect to the existing Conable Technology Building through a second story bridge, and will partially enclose the college’s central academic quad. The Student Success Center will bring admissions, financial aid, academic advisement, job and career counseling and a variety of other student services to one building.

Dr. Sunser announced the Event Center will be dedicated as “The Richard C. Call Arena” in honor of Dick Call, an active supporter of the college, who died in 2014, and who was an early member of the “Creating Our Future Together Campaign.”

College officials say the Event Center is expected to draw as many as 500,000 visitors to the campus each year. It will accommodate athletic competitions and civic, community, trade, industry and college events.

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