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JCC steps forward

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Jefferson Community College has formally launched its $17 million residence hall project to provide 298 beds for JCC students with a ground-breaking ceremony that attracted about 100 college supporters. They were there to endorse the bold move by JCC to expand its campus from a college for commuters to an around-the-clock center of learning, studying, athletics and student collegiate interactions.

As one of New York’s community colleges, JCC has provided a significant opportunity for students from across the county. The value of JCC was evident at this past weekend’s graduation day for Jefferson County’s high schools. It is very revealing to discover at those ceremonies just how many of the graduates will continue their studies at JCC to take advantage of the diverse range of options that the college provides.

The residence hall will open in the fall of 2014 and will enhance that opportunity by accommodating students in three- to six-person suites, common study lounges, a computer lab and meeting room, and even a café to supply coffee for those all-night study binges.

The facility will be owned by the Faculty Student Association Auxiliary LLC and will be managed independently from the college. It sits near the heart of the campus, overlooking the fairgrounds and offering wonderful views of the city.

In addition to expanding the college to a more residential atmosphere, it will assure students who find a commute from home a challenge that they will have quality affordable housing. The new beds will help relieve the pressure in the Jefferson County housing market where the vacancy rate is minuscule and rents rise rapidly. No longer will parents worry about a son or daughter living in a run-down apartment.

JCC President Carole A. McCoy and the board of trustees have taken a progressive action that will enhance the value of the college, improve student life and make Watertown an attractive destination for students. The college provides a path to employment opportunities, and now it adds to that a quality living environment.

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