NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release
Contact: Ray Gillen, Metroplex
(518) 461-7137 (cell)
United Group Joins Schenectady County Officials to Break Ground on New Student Housing for SCCC
$11 million Investment Helps College, Downtown Continue to Grow
Schenectady, N.Y., November 2, 2011 – The United Group of Companies today joined with officials from Schenectady County, the Schenectady County IDA, the City of Schenectady and Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) to break ground on the College Suites at Washington Square, a new 264 bed student housing complex in downtown Schenectady. The new $11 million, 112,000 square foot building is located directly across from SCCC on Washington Avenue. The project will help SCCC continue to boost its enrollment while it also helps to continue the rapid pace of redevelopment in downtown Schenectady.
Gary Hughes, Chair of the County Legislature’s Committee on Education and Libraries and a Trustee at SCCC said, “We are so pleased to be working with a proven developer of student housing, the United Group of Companies, to bring this new student housing to downtown Schenectady. United’s new project in downtown Troy is a major success and we look forward to similar results here in Schenectady. This project will help us enroll more students at SCCC continuing the college’s rapid growth. More students attending SCCC means more jobs, as education is the key to obtaining employment in the new economy.”
Acting Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “This is another major investment in our downtown and helps bring new development to lower State Street. This project is yet another example of how we are moving Schenectady forward by working together with our partners at the County.”
Denise Murphy McGraw, Chairwoman of SCCC’s Board of Trustees said, “This project has been the top priority for the Trustees. It is a great step forward for SCCC to have housing available to the students who want to enroll in our fast growing, job creating, career training institution. For many years, we looked for the right model that was in the best interest of our institution. We are very grateful to United Group of Companies and our partners at the County and City for their support of this critically important project.”
Michael Ucellini, President and CEO of United Group of Companies said, “We are thrilled to be embarking on this tremendous opportunity in downtown Schenectady. From the top on down, the leadership at SCCC, the County, City and Metroplex have been encouraging and have worked diligently with us to create what we believe will be a tremendous benefit to the College and its surrounding community.”
Dr. Quintin Bullock, President of SCCC said, “This is an exceptional public-private partnership between the College, local leaders and the United Group of Companies that will not only benefit the area’s economic growth and the revitalization of our downtown, but also will transform SCCC into a year round, 24-7 community. This opportunity will provide all students with a fuller college experience while further immersing us into the fabric and adding to the vibrancy of this part of Schenectady.”
The United Group recently completed construction of City Station, a 100,000 square foot student housing facility located in downtown Troy that houses RPI graduate students. United has also developed student housing for Finger Lakes Community College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Albany, Albany College of Pharmacy, Sage College and Niagara County Community College. A total of 18 community colleges in NYS now offer student housing.
The new College Suites at Washington Square will be available for the 2012-2013 school year. Each suite will feature four private bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living space. The ground floor of the new four story building will feature a fitness area, student recreation area, game room, business center, study area and rehearsal space for music students.
SCCC is one of the fastest growing community colleges in NYS with transfer and career programs in music, culinary arts, hotel/restaurant management, storage battery technology, alternative energy technology, air traffic control, nanoscale materials, criminal justice, early childhood education and many others. The college has conducted several market studies that show a strong demand for student housing.
The new student housing is expected to help SCCC continue to expand its enrollment. The College now has more than 6,000 full and part time students.
All local approvals are in place and construction will proceed immediately. BBL Construction Services is the contractor for the project. The architect is Re4orm Architects of Schenectady.
United Group will be locating staff at SCCC in the next few weeks to help students sign up for the new housing. Applications and more information can be found at www.mycollegesuites.com/washingtonsquare.
United Group is leasing the site for the new housing project from the Schenectady County IDA for $250,000. The County IDA will pay this full amount to the County. The County IDA is administered by Metroplex as part of the County’s unified economic development team.
Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and a Trustee at SCCC said, “Just as City Station has helped to reshape the Troy skyline, we see the new College Suites at Washington Square as a key catalyst for growth as we move development west toward lower State Street. We plan to work with United Group on a second project once this first building is fully occupied that will also be located downtown.”