JOHNSTOWN - When students begin the fall semester at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, they'll be greeted with not only additional housing but an updated place for meals on campus.
"What we're really talking about is transforming what is a very institutional cafeteria into more of a food-court dining experience," FM President Dustin Swanger said. "Instead of going through a line in the serving area, there will actually be five different stations that students can go to, and each station will have a different venue of food."
Swanger, in March, estimated the renovations to the cafeteria inside the College Union building would cost about $800,000.
A rendering shows the new design for the renovated cafeteria planned for Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown.
Funding for the project comes from the Fulmont College Association and the state. No local sponsor county dollars are going into the cafeteria remodeling, Swanger said.
"We're talking about what is essentially a big, open room and trying to create different seating arrangements so that there will be some lounge-type furniture, some banquettes, and some tables and chairs," Swanger said.
Work on the project will begin after graduation next month. He said the college has been talking to officials at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services center, which is next door to FMCC, about using its kitchen to provide meals for activities on campus over the summer.
In December, officials broke ground on a $7.1 million project - funded through an $11.3 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - that will double Campus View housing, adding another 144 beds.
Delivery of the modular units was scheduled to begin last week and continue over the next two weeks.
"That process will really ramp up with the modules being delivered and set in the student parking lot in the back of the campus. Then a crane will pick them up, take them over to Campus View, and place them on the foundation," Swanger said.
When the structure is in place, phase three will begin, which includes plumbing, electrical wiring, installing a roof and finishing touches.
"We're pushing to make sure we're on track for opening Sept. 1," Swanger said.
The expansion is part of the last five-year strategic plan that ended as the FMCC Board of Trustees adopted a plan that covers 2011 to 2016. The new plan includes a goal of expanding the college's resources, including on-campus activities that accommodate a larger residential population.
That includes a plan to renovate a 6,600 square-foot space, including the former indoor pool area, into what will be called Raiders Cove - a student lounge with an Internet cafe, a stage, pool tables, TVs and a contemporary design.
Swanger said work on that project will begin late this summer.
He said elements of the Raiders Cove project may go out to bid in August, with a goal of opening the new space in January.
Located in the Physical Education building, the indoor pool has gone unused since 2008, when college officials learned it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair leaks.
Raiders Cove is estimated to cost $1.3 million. FM Foundation Executive Director Lesley Lanzi said the foundation is looking to raise $600,000 toward the Raiders Cove project. So far, she said, the foundation is two-thirds of the way toward its goal.
State dollars and funding from the Fulmont College Association will go toward that project as well.
Amanda Whistle can be reached at email@example.com.