PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College is getting closer to making the area's first advanced manufacturing institute a reality.
After engaging in a site survey of its property over the winter, CCC selected a location on campus to erect the facility and is working with the Plattsburgh-based architectural and engineering firm AES Northeast to develop blueprints.
Last fall, the college was awarded $12.7 million through the SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program to fund the institute, which will provide educational programs and training in the fields of transportation, aerospace and manufacturing. These areas were identified by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council as necessary for economic growth.
The project is a collaboration among the college, the Development Corp., Chamber of Commerce, CITEC, CCC's Center for Community and Workforce Development, CV-TEC, SUNY Plattsburgh and Clarkson University.
While CCC had originally hoped to break ground on the facility this past spring, that tentative schedule proved to be too tight, according to the school's Interim President Frederick Smith.
The college received the contract from the state finalizing the grant award just days ago and is now shooting for a spring 2016 groundbreaking, with occupancy in fall 2017.
The college's Board of Trustees has chosen a spot on the north end of campus, currently occupied by a dirt-and-gravel parking lot, as the institute's future home.
The facility is expected to be about 30,000 square feet, according to CCC Vice President for Institutional Advancement Steven Frederick,and the location provides ample real estate and flexibility.
“I think they chose the best possible spot for it," he said.
The school is in the process of conducting a geo-technical survey, testing soil and designing a permanent-access road to the site.
"The new road will eliminate construction-vehicle traffic around the rest of the campus and offer a shortcut to the new AMI (advanced manufacturing institute) building parking lot," Fredericksaid.
Clinton Community is also working with Plattsburgh's Boire Benner Group to develop a branding and marketing plan for the manufacturing school. That portion of the project is being funded by a grant from the CCC Foundation.
Early on, the institute was referred to as the Manufacturing and Technology Resource Center for the North Country, Frederick noted, but that was just a conceptual name.
The facility's official title is still in development, he added, but the intention is to give it a unique identity, with its own branding and marketing ability.
The college is also winding down its Clearly Clinton Capital Campaign, with $125,000 needed to fund the creation of a Learning Commons on the first floor of the Stafford Center.
Technology classrooms and labs that currently occupy that space will be relocated to the manufacturing institute upon its completion, freeing up space for the project.
The commons will also house the school's library, tutor center and accommodation services, which are currently spread throughout multiple floors of the Moore Building.
"Our students have a need for this," Frederick said of the Learning Commons.
The project is expected to cost about $3 million, with the Capital Campaign aiming to cover $1.5 million and SUNY matching the college's contribution.
CCC had considered extending the campaign to raise additional funds to convert the vacated space in the Moore Building into a convocation center of sorts. However, the college has decided to hold off on addressing that space.
Instead, the school intends to focus the next phase of its fundraising efforts on building an endowment for the manufacturing institute.
The goal is to be able to support annual technology upgrades and regular maintenance for the facility, as well as scholarships for its students, according to Frederick.
“I think the next five years are going to be transformational on campus," he said.
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