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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • CCC president: Library project set for March

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  • Corning Community College will break ground in March on $23.3 million worth of capital projects, including a renovation and expansion of its Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Library, Dr. Kate Douglas, college president, said Monday.
    "We'll have a shovel in the ground in March, and the library will reopen in January 2015," Douglas told lawmakers during a "state of the college" presentation at Monday's Steuben County Legislature meeting.
    Douglas showed legislators a "virtual tour" video of the future Houghton Library.
    There will be an addition on the front of the library - "essentially a two-story glass box," she said - that will overlook the quad and serve as the main entrance.
    Inside the addition will be a cafe, as well as a flexible program/event space. From there, students will cross an enclosed bridge into the upper floor of the main library, which will be remodeled, Douglas said.
    The upper floor will include the reference desk and a "learning commons" with computers, docking stations for students' own computers, and private group study areas.
    The lower floor will include various open study areas as well as large and small group study rooms, an instruction room and a media room, the general book collections, and a climate-controlled rare book room.
    The south-facing back side of the library will also be opened up, using a lot of glass for natural light, Douglas said.
    Technology will be vastly improved throughout the library, Douglas said.
    "I have often kidded that we have on Spencer Hill an absolutely fabulous, beautiful 1960's college library," she said. "But we are now in the 21st century, it's 2014, and it's time to renovate and expand."
    Also this year, CCC plans to renovate the Commons to serve as the "front door" to the campus, with a student support center in the front of the building that will centralize admissions, registration, financial aid and other services.
    The renovation will also double the amount of student lounge space available in the Commons, which also houses the dining hall, Douglas said.
    The third aspect of the upcoming capital project is a renovation of the locker rooms and athletics offices at the gymnasium/fitness center complex.
    The bulk of the $23.3 million total will come from state and federal aid, along with about $3 million from private sources.
    Douglas noted that the $16.8 million Perry Hall, the college's first residence hall, was just finished.
    "We're doing approximately $40 million worth of investment in about a three-year span," she told legislators.
    There were 213 students living in the 320-bed Perry Hall during the fall semester, including 56 athletes, Douglas said. There are currently 2,291 full-time students and 2,697 part-time students at CCC.
    • Also Monday, Steuben lawmakers approved an updated version of the county's economic development plan, first crafted in 2010, following an overview from Jamie Johnson, executive director of the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency.
    Page 2 of 2 - The plan is a "roadmap" to business retention and expansion, as well as upgrading infrastructure vital to growth, such as railroads and shovel-ready business parks, Johnson said.
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