When it announced its $25 million dorm project last March, SUNY Adirondack joined a growing list of local two year colleges starting to offer student housing. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, current and future students are just now getting to see what their new dorms will look like.
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – "Both of my brothers went to Hudson Valley and we kind of always planned to go to a two year school and then transfer to a four,” Ballston Spa High School senior Sam Speziale said. “This was kind of a great compromise."
Before settling on SUNY Adirondack, partially for its criminal justice courses and nationally ranked soccer team, Speziale and his family decided on starting at a two year college. What gave the Queensbury campus its ultimate edge was its new state-of-the-art dormitory.
"It will be better to live on campus, do work, instead of commuting every day with practice and be able to just have your apartment right here," said Speziale, who’s enrolled for the fall semester.
"This will give him the experience of being able to live on campus, not having to commute, at an affordable price for us and give him a start on his education, a good quality education here," said Tom Speziale, Sam’s father.
The Speziales were among the very first to tour the college's new $25.5 million dormitory complex Monday. The two year school is one of several in New York now offering student housing.
"It's going to help community colleges survive,” said Christopher Oertel, who was hired as the school’s first even director of residence life seven months ago. “That affordable education just hasn't been enough in the past, now you can have that affordable education right here in your own backyard, but have that four year experience."
Of the 400 beds that will be available, Oertel says about 150 are already spoken for, adding he believes he'll have no trouble filling the rest before move in day September 1st.
"[We’re] way ahead of schedule,” Oertel said Monday. “I didn't think we'd be at this particular point this early. That just shows the level of interest that's out there."
The building combines two and four bed suites, all equipped with their own bathrooms and common areas.
Speziale, who will graduate from Ballston Spa in June, is already counting down the days until he can move in.
"I'm really excited to graduate and get to college and this is definitely making it a bigger experience for me, so I'm very excited," Speziale said.
Construction on the dorms is expected to be complete by July 1st.
Current and prospective students interested in applying should visit the college’s website at www.sunyacc.edu.