PSU issued bonds for capital work

PHOTO PROVIDEDThis conceptual rendering shows what the exterior of SUNY Plattsburgh's Macomb Hall is expected to look like after undergoing about $15 million in renovations. The project, for which the college has received $9 million in bonds from the state Dormitory Authority, includes the installation of an elevator and office space for the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services. Work is expected to start this month. 

PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh is among the recipients of nearly $19 million in low-cost, tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State Dormitory Authority.

About $9 million of those will support the initial stages of renovations to Macomb Hall, while about $10 million will be used toward future renovations to Wilson and Whiteface halls, as well as restoration projects at SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam, according to a media release from the Dormitory Authority.

"The bonds made available through DASNY are critical, helping us upgrade our facilities and offer our students the best possible on-campus living experience," SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling said in the release.


Macomb Hall will be closed this month for the start of the $15 million project, which will add kitchenettes on each floor of the 191-bed facility, along with energy-efficiency improvements, new sprinkler systems and bathroom upgrades.

“Prior to this project, bathrooms were renovated, but privacy was an issue," SUNY Plattsburgh Director of Housing and Residence Life Stephen Matthews said in a news release from the college. 

"Now, the new bathrooms in Macomb — and later in the other residence halls — will be individual units with showers, sinks and toilets.

"They also answer the mandate for unisex bathrooms.”


During focus groups, Matthews noted, students raised the issue of privacy but also indicated they wished the halls to “feel more like home.

“They want the ability to cook, they want more modern amenities, the ability to see outside and open spaces,” he said. “These plans deliver.”

The project will also create office space on the ground floor of Macomb for the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services, which are now housed in Angell College Center.

“Most of the folks in Student Support Services don’t even have their own offices now,” Matthews said. “This will be a vast improvement for serving those students who use both Student Support Services and EOP.”


An elevator, surrounded by a bank of windows, will be installed on the outside wall of the dormitory, next to Saranac Hall, and security doors will separate the office space from the residential portion of the facility.

“That way, you can live in the building but not have access to EOP and SSS and visa versa,” Matthews said.

Because Macomb was constructed partially into the side of a hill, he explained, only one side of the building has windows on the ground floor. 

Space will be dug out on the other side of the facility, giving the office area the benefit of windows as well.

The dormitory is scheduled to reopen in August 2018.

"SUNY Plattsburgh has been aggressively renovating our housing, taking one residence hall offline each academic year for major upgrades," Ettling said.

"These projects focus on enhanced student experiences, energy efficiency and equipping buildings with the latest technology.

"Macomb will be the eighth residence hall renovated in our 10-year capital plan."


Previously upgraded were Macdonough, Hood, Harrington, deFredenburgh, Mason and Moffitt halls.

A small portion of the bonds will be used to finish paying for work at Wilson Hall, which is scheduled to reopen in August, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Bryan Hartman.

Additionally, the bonds will pay for some of the design phase of the Whiteface Hall project, which is now underway, he said in the college's release.

Whiteface Hall is expected to close temporarily in May 2018, Hartman noted, and Kent Hall, the following year.

“It is our goal to complete the buildings identified if we continue to believe we can afford it,” Hartman said.

"SUNY residence halls must operate without support from taxpayers or tuition,” Ettling added.

Revenue brought in by the campus's dormitories will be used to pay off the bonds.

The college will assess whether to renovate its remaining dormitories, Banks and Adirondack halls, once work on the others is complete, Hartman said.

Email Ashleigh Livingston:

Twitter: @AshJLivingston 

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Ashleigh Livingston reports education and health news. She is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, where she also serves as an adjunct lecturer.

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