It’s hard to tell this was ever a grocery store.
Cayuga Community College trustees Wednesday toured the school’s soon-to-be satellite home in the former P&C supermarket on Fulton’s southern edge.
They saw rooms and hallways laid out and a second floor added to the failed grocery store that will give the college the room and breathing space it does not have at its current home in a long-closed department store on the other side of town. Everything from the grocery store — from flooring to the paint on the walls — is long gone.
“It is absolutely on schedule” to open this fall, said Daniel Larson, the college’s President. ”By the first part of August, we will begin moving in.”
After school begins, Larson said construction workers will move on to the smaller storefronts that lie between the former grocery store and the still-operating Dollar Tree dollar store. He said those areas will be turned into spaces for student clubs and organizations, a bookstore with some food service, and a large meeting space for events such as new-student orientation.
The expanded campus may be creating a buzz among prospective students. Larson said applications to enroll at the college are running well above last year’s levels.
He’s hoping that when the doors open in the fall, between 1,400 and 1,500 students will roam the new Fulton halls. “That would be an absolute home run, out of the park,” he said.
Dollar Tree and K-Mart remain open on the site. Dollar Tree recently signed a long-term lease with the college, which owns the entire former shopping center. K-Mart’s fate is unknown; parent company Sears has announced store closings across the country. So far, the lightly-attended Fulton store has not been on the list.
Cayuga Community College will keep its current home open for at least a few more years, but will use the space for community education. Larson said he has talked with some potential community partners about using the facility.