Changes in store for students at FMCC

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton-Montgomery Community College is making final preparations for the September arrival of students, who will notice some significant changes.

FMCC will start its fall semester Sept. 1, and students will find several updates to the campus that are designed to make students more comfortable.

College President Dustin Swanger said a student union remodeling capital project is going well. Portions of the remodeled building will be ready by Monday.

The project involves moving around several key components of the building as well as creating more space with an addition. The college has done some rearranging to the building, including creating three meeting rooms in the former basement college store and remodeling the first-floor bathrooms.

“I think they are going to see some real changes in the student union,” Swanger said.

Swanger said the college store is currently in the large lounge, since the new location won’t be ready until January. The college is building an expansion at the front of the building that will contain the new college store.

“I think they are going to see those kind of transformations in a place where students gather quite a bit,” Swanger said.

Additionally, the game room will be moved into the center of the basement level at the union. The former game room will become the student activity office.

Swanger said the college sees students having a place to gather as important. He said the college wanted to give clubs a place to meet, since they primarily meet in the building’s large lounge.

“Providing those spaces for clubs to meet will give a whole different atmosphere. A lot of times they just met in classrooms, but I think having this new space will give a whole new professionalism to their meeting. I think it will help a lot,” Swanger said.

Swanger said that when the college previously created student gathering spaces, the students appreciated them.

A part of the student union plans include removing a number of functions for the community that happen in the student union. Swanger said the college is planning to move community functions, including meetings, to the planned Allen House.

The Allen House project is a part of the plan to create a total space for students. Allen House would contain a meeting space, full-service kitchen and entertainment space.

The Allen House will be named after George and Frances Allen of Amsterdam, who donated $2 million to the college. Construction on the project is scheduled for the summer or fall of 2017.

Swanger said the sculpture garden will be available to students on opening day. The garden snakes around the front of the visitor parking lot and features a variety of donated artworks by national and international artists.

The keystone of the project is a piece of the World Trade Center that has been turned into a memorial space, with the first event set to be held this year.

The garden will also have a fountain feature, but it won’t be ready until October, since the water will come from the student union expansion.

“Some of our art classes are planning their first week or so in the sculpture garden where students can draw some of the sculptures,” Swanger said.

Swanger said students are often surprised when they get to FM. He said they have an image of what they think the college will be, and said they find it different when they arrive. He said students often tell him what a great experience FM was.

“FM’s signature really is its welcoming environment and how much faculty and staff care about student success,” Swanger said.

Potential students can register for classes up to Aug. 31 without a late fee.

Kerry Minor covers Gloversville. She can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.