TICONDEROGA — The Huestis Building in downtown Ticonderoga is being converted to student dormitory housing for the Ticonderoga campus of North Country Community College.
The two-story building next to Sunshine Laundry, which formerly housed an antiques store, is owned by JASAMA LLC, which just signed an agreement with NCCC to provide the college with student housing.
JASAMA is owned by James Major, who is chairman of the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the community.
“This agreement signifies a major step toward integrating the downtown with education, business opportunities and future growth,” Major said in a news release.
The current agreement is to provide housing for 16 students for the fall 2013 semester, but Major said they hope to furnish lodging for up to 150 students in the next three to five years.
JASAMA will create two quad dorms on the second floor, where apartments are now located. Each will consist of four double-occupancy dorm rooms with a shared kitchen and a common room for study.
A bakery is expected to open this spring in the first-floor space.
By fall 2014, the second and third floors of the former Cobbler’s Bench Furniture Store, farther down Montcalm Street, will be turned into housing for 48 students.
North Country Community College President Dr. Steve Tyrell praised the agreement.
“There is much to be gained by our cooperation to improve the quality of life in the general Ticonderoga area,” he said in the release. “I’m personally thrilled by this understanding, and we look forward to being helpful in any way we can.”
JASAMA represents a group of local investors who own several vacant buildings on Montcalm Street in downtown Ticonderoga, including the former Cobbler’s Bench Furniture Store and the old Ticonderoga Market.
The first floor of the Cobbler’s Bench building has been targeted for small shops and space for artisans.