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FMCC approves land sale for $32K: future student housing planned

Future student housing is planned for parcel

JOHNSTOWN –The Fulton-Montgomery Community College Board of Trustees has approved the sale of a parcel of land to the Fulmont College Association for a student housing project the college wants to build.

FMCC is hoping to construct student housing for 100 students on a plot of land located on Bendick Corners Road and Route 67 in the town of Amsterdam. The 8.062 acres of land is considered surplus.

The property will be sold to FCA for $32,000, following two different land appraisals. The FCA is a nonprofit independent provider to FMCC, which owns student housing.

The funds will not be kept by the college however. Half of the proceeds will go to SUNY with the remaining $16,000 being split evenly between Fulton and Montgomery counties.

The FCA’s board of directors approved the purchase of the land during its Nov. 16 meeting. The sale will still need to be approved by the Fulton County Board of Trustees, the Montgomery County Legislature and the SUNY Board of Trustees.

The current on-campus housing includes Fulton and Montgomery halls, which feature two double bedrooms, a living/dining room, and one bathroom per suite.

Raider Hall, which opened in 2012, features two single and one double room per suite with a living room and bathroom.

The college currently has 288 residential beds between Raider Hall, Fulton Hall and Montgomery Hall. The college also has housing at the Microtel by Wyndham for international students, but is not currently using the facility.

College President Dustin Swanger said the agreement will be sent in January to both counties. He said it could take two to three months to go through each county.

Both counties have approved the concept of selling the land to the FCA to construct the student housing.

He said the SUNY board would take three to four months for approval. SUNY will receive the paperwork following the OK from the counties.

Swanger said those approvals could take a couple of months.

“While we don’t have any immediate plans for student housing because of a number of factors, such as our enrollment is down, we’re a little cautious right now,” Swanger said. “We figured the process would take a year. So it was our recommendation that while we have no immediate plans to expand housing, let’s do this so that when the time comes, we can just go a head and move forward.”

Swanger said the project is related to, but not mutually inclusive to the FM Global Village.

“I think it will come in the future, but right now it’s on hold,” Swanger said. “While they’re related, one doesn’t necessarily depend on the other.”

Global Village is a  planned development that would include restaurants, retail and senior living near the campus.

Details to be worked out

The project, along with the related Global Village, had been expecting water from Johnstown to be provided through the county’s water district.

The city of Johnstown and Fulton County had come to an agreement in April to supply an additional 40,000 gallons of water per day to the college for for the Global Village project.

The water agreement was rescinded in September between the Johnstown Common Council and Fulton County.

“It’s not holding my planning up,” Swanger said. “I’m continuing to move forward.”

Swanger said the project is moving slower than he’d like, but said it is moving forward.

He said the college needs to look at the number and see if the project is still feasible. However, he stressed the college is still planning for the project.

“At some point, we will have a go, no-go decision. I think that will probably be in the next few months,” Swanger said.

He said there is no utilities, public road and the site has wetlands. He said those issues will need to be addressed.

“As you get into it, the cost of infrastructure starts to build. So right now we still think its feasible, and the developer thinks it’s feasible, but it all has to come together,” Swanger said. “There are a few parties who need to decide whether it comes together or not.

Swanger said there is not a groundbreaking date set for the project, saying it could be another year.

“I’m still optimistic. People are excited about it. Everybody I talk to in the community is excited about it. The developer still seems excited about it,” Swanger said. “I don’t want to give the impression that it isn’t going to work. But I also want be up front. We’re looking at numbers and we need to make sure the numbers work in a way that that project is feasible.”

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

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