Press-Republican

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September 15, 2013

NCCC Welcome Center in planning

SARANAC LAKE — Plans for a Welcome Center at North Country Community College are churning through the planning phase.

The NCCC Foundation Board recently passed a resolution approving the purchase of two pieces of property from development firm Cedar Ridge Holdings, owned by Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

The college’s Board of Trustees then approved a similar plan to buy the property.

WILL BE BID OUT

But in looking to buy, both boards said they would put construction of the Welcome Center project out for bid.

Initially, when announcing the idea last June, NCCC President Dr. Steve Tyrell said they were considering purchase of the Welcome Center after it was completely built by Cedar Ridge, a turnkey arrangement.

The idea drew fire from lawmakers in both Franklin and Essex counties, who thought the project should be put out to bid, especially if state or county resources are involved.

“All that we were doing over the summer was exploring all of our options,” Tyrell said.

“At the conclusion of the foundation meeting this month — and we had a similar conversation at the Board of Trustees meeting — there was agreement from both entities that we would bid the construction of the facility.”

FUNDING SOURCES

No price for the property was announced despite the move to go ahead.

But Tyrell said the entire Welcome Center project would range in cost from $850,000 to $1.3 million, depending on what types of funding supply the capital.

Money would likely come from a blend of private donations from the foundation and state dollars, he said.

“The foundation would be the owners of the properties. Cedar Ridge Holdings has been developing them. There are two properties, three residential buildings,” Tyrell said of the site, which would be purchased from Rabideau’s company.

The cost of construction, he explained, depends on how the project is funded.

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