BY ALLISON WHITE
The Planning and Public Works Committee was asked to approve a public hearing for discussion on a proposed student dormitory at Rockland Community College. After rounds of questions from the committee, the motion was passed.
President Cliff L. Wood EdD said the project would cost around $34 million, to be paid for via non-profit donations and a mortgage. Wood believes over 30 years room and board fees will cover the cost of the project and taxpayers will not bear a financial responsibility for the project.
However, concerns were raised by some legislators. Wood’s assumed residency rate to match his revenue projection is 80 percent, leading some on the committee to ask where the money would come from if this rate was not met. Although President Wood was confident that the occupancy rate would be met, he emphasized that the collateral would not fall on taxpayers.
President Wood continued to talk about the prominence of residence halls at community colleges in the area, such as Dutchess County Community College. In addition to a residence hall, dining facilities will need to be upgraded at RCC to provide proper meals for students residing on campus. However, the State University of New York will fund this, but are not involved with funding residence halls. A date will be set for a public hearing on the matter.