---- — SARANAC LAKE — North Country Community College plans to purchase property on Lake Flower Avenue to build a campus Welcome Center.
The site would accommodate its Admissions, Enrollment, Bursar and Financial Aid offices and give it a “street presence” on the village’s main thoroughfare, according to a news release from the college.
The location is 433 Lake Flower Ave., between Janie’s For Hair salon and the Sara-Placid Motor Inn.
An adjoining parcel off Colony Court would also be purchased and consolidated.
The primary parcel is zoned B-4, which permits office buildings and retailing and requires site-plan review and approval by the Saranac Lake Village Planning Board.
The college campus sits two blocks away, off Winona and Santanoni avenues.
“The college has long wanted an access point and street presence on Lake Flower Avenue, and this project will finally give us those opportunities,” NCCC President Dr. Steven Tyrell said in a statement.
Tyrell said he looks forward to working with the Planning Board so the project blends well into the location and gives a good first impression for both the village and NCCC.
The college proposes to build a two-story, 4,200-square-foot Welcome Center in traditional Adirondack architecture.
The new facility will include an entrance hall and conference room to host space for campus and community events.
“The Welcome Center concept is that of a one-stop shop for students, particularly new ones, where they may find all of their initial college needs in one convenient building and literally take care of their admissions and financial-aid needs, walk upstairs to the registrar to enroll in classes and then process their bill with the bursar,” Tyrell said.
These services are now at separate locations on the Saranac Lake campus.
MAYOR’S FIRM INVOLVED
The parcels are under purchase option agreement to Cedar Ridge Holdings Inc., a company primarily owned by local contractor Clyde Rabideau, who is also the village mayor.
Cedar Ridge Holdings Inc. will be the building-permit applicant and developer of the facility.
“Our company has done a number of projects like this for colleges and municipalities over the last 35 years, and we look forward to participating in this exciting development,” Rabideau said in the news release.
“I know people watch everything we do in the village with added scrutiny because I am also mayor, so not only do we openly discuss my participation and recuse myself from any village involvement, but we will also exceed all that is required of us.”