BY MICHAEL RICONDA
In an interview with the Rockland County Times, RCC Director of Communications Tzipora Reitman explained the ideas had not yet reached a planning stage and no timetable was available, though there were some details which indicate the purpose and scope of the project.
County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef referred to discussions on the project in his State of the County speech earlier in March, explaining that he had been in talks on the matter with RCC President Cliff Wood. Vanderhoef repeated an estimate of 250-300 units which would be needed to see tentative goals.
“It will increase our enrollments at a time when enrollments are down in some places,” Vanderhoef explained during his address to the county. “[Woods’] concern and my concern is that in order to be solvent and successful, RCC must continue that enrollment growth.”
The college currently has 8,000 students enrolled, a figure which has declined due to increasing private school enrollment and declining numbers of high school graduates. According to Reitman, the project would be intended to accommodate out-of-county and international students drawn to RCC’s proximity to New York City, to supplement current in-county students.
Reitman added the project will likely be funded mostly by the county, though private funds and charitable donations may also supplement these funds.
The current state of county finances could preclude such large scale projects, but Vanderhoef’s State of the County address also alluded to the possibility of the construction of new buildings by private contractors and county leases, reducing costs for the financially-constrained county.
This is not the first time RCC has discussed dorms, in fact, the college “considered” the idea as long ago as the early 1970s.