BY ZACHARY MATSON, The Daily Gazette
Photo by MARC SCHULTZ, Gazette Photographer
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Union College has a new home for its campus safety team: the former bank building at the corner of Nott Street and Van Vranken Avenue.
The building, which was previously Bank of America and had been vacant since 2013, started housing the private college’s 26-person campus safety staff last month and will be formally dedicated Thursday evening as part of the school Homecoming Weekend.
Now called the Williams Center for Campus Community Safety, the building is equipped with a control room to monitor the campus’ 80 surveillance cameras, conferences rooms for training and to host community partners, an interview room, locker rooms and administrative offices.
“This is the first real campus safety building,” said Chris Hayen, who has served as Union’s director of campus safety for a decade and worked at the school for over 30 years. “We outgrew our resources.”
In 2017, Union agreed to purchase the building for $135,000, with the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority pitching in $25,000 to help finalize the deal. Union expected to spend around $1.6 million to buy and renovate the building.
The building, which had been the home of multiple bank branches over the years, was falling into disrepair and becoming a site of graffiti and parking lot troubles, said Ray Gillen, director of Metroplex.
“Empty buildings go down hill fast,” Gillen said. “[Union] stepped up and we couldn’t be more pleased. For $25,000, that was a good investment.”