June 7, 2011 -- Dutchess Community College and more than 200 guests gathered today to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in the College’s history - the groundbreaking for on-campus student housing. Scheduled to open for the fall 2012 semester, the 465-bed residence hall will enable students who wish to live away at college to do so, while benefitting from the quality, accessibility and affordability of a DCC education.
More than half of SUNY’s community colleges currently offer – or are in the process of building – student housing. Research shows that students who live on campus are more satisfied with their college experience, earn higher grade point averages and are more likely to graduate than their commuting peers. The availability of housing also positively impacts commuting students, as programs, activities and services are enhanced throughout campus.
“This is an important step as Dutchess Community College evolves to meet the needs of students,” said Dr. D. David Conklin, president of the College, as he welcomed elected officials, community members and faculty, students and staff to the groundbreaking.
“More students than ever are attending DCC – and we’re seeing tremendous growth in traditional students -- those coming directly after high school” He added, “Students and their families are making DCC part of a comprehensive and sound four-year college plan. The quality of the education provided, support of faculty and staff, affordable tuition and beautiful campus make DCC an attractive option that saves students and families thousands of dollars, while opening doors to remarkable opportunities.” DCC’s tuition, at $2,900 per year, is the lowest in New York state.
Dr. Conklin spoke proudly of the successes of many of this year’s graduates, who are transferring to four-year colleges and universities including Cornell, RPI, Tulane, Rutgers, Marist, Vassar, Bard, Smith, Pratt and SUNY schools.
Speakers at the event included Thomas LeGrand, chairman of the DCC board of trustees; John Zamierowski, outgoing DCC Student Government President; Ray VanVoorhis, Liscum McCormack VanVoorhis LLC; and Joseph Kirchhoff, Kirchhoff Consigli Construction Management. Recognized for their support and involvement in the project were Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Michael Tomkovitch and Michael Keegan, Julie Krieger and Ellen O’Leary from M&T Bank, which is financing the project.
The housing will be different than that typically available to freshmen and sophomores, as it will feature spacious suite-style units with assorted bedroom configurations, one to two bathrooms, kitchenette and living room. It also includes lounges on each floor, a multi-purpose atrium, fitness center, laundry facilities, cable television and wireless Internet service and other amenities. The residence hall will be conveniently located near academic buildings and adjacent to Parking Lot D, on what is now the soccer field. (The field will be relocated.)
“Safety and security are our top priorities,” said Dr. Conklin. Thoughtful design, construction and operation of the residence hall will ensure students’ well-being. The building will be constructed of noncombustible materials and will feature sprinklers throughout, 24-hour security, a central entrance, controlled access and on-site resident director and resident advisors.
The housing also will incorporate “green technology,” reflective of DCC’s commitment to sustainability initiatives. It will feature geothermal heating and cooling – as does Bowne Hall, an administration/academic building on the DCC campus.
The facility will be owned and operated by the DCC Association. Construction of the $30 million, 136,000 square foot facility is expected to begin this summer. Construction services are being provided by: Kirchhoff Consigli Construction Management (project manager); Liscum McCormack VanVoorhis LLC (architect); The Chazen Companies (civil engineer); Erdman Anthony (electrical and mechanical engineer); and Johnson Controls (geothermal heating/cooling).