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Cayuga Community College Foundation Buys Rest of River Glen Plaza for Fulton Campus Expansion

 These vacant storefronts will soon be converted into the expanded Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus, as the CCCF River Glen Holdings Inc. a nonprofit subsidiary of the College Foundation, recently purchased a major portion of the River Glen Plaza property in Fulton.
These vacant storefronts will soon be converted into the expanded Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus, as the CCCF River Glen Holdings Inc. a nonprofit subsidiary of the College Foundation, recently purchased a major portion of the River Glen Plaza property in Fulton.

Cayuga Community College is pleased to report that the third and final piece of its vision for an expanded campus at the River Glen Plaza in Fulton is in place. On November 4, CCCF River Glen Holdings Inc, a nonprofit subsidiary of the CCC Foundation, purchased a major portion of the River Glen Plaza property in Fulton. The board also agreed to lease the vacant portions of the property to the College for the College’s expansion plans in the Fulton area.

In spring 2011, the Cayuga County Legislature purchased the former P&C Foods building in the River Glen Plaza in Fulton, and approved the purchase of 45 acres of undeveloped land that is adjacent to the River Glen Plaza. The College is working with construction manager LPCiminelli of Buffalo to transform the former grocery store into a 21st century campus that will be ready for students by fall 2012.

The River Glen Plaza property purchased by the Foundation’s subsidiary consists of the remaining 24.68 acres of land and approximately 124,000 square feet of building. The purchase price was $9.4 million, which included the subsidiary’s assumption of an existing $8 million mortgage loan from Bank of America. The seller was Widewaters Pierce Drive Associates of Syracuse. K-Mart and Dollar Tree stores currently occupy approximately 102,000 square feet.

The Foundation’s subsidiary will collect rent from the two stores as well as the College, which hopes to expand into the 23,000 square feet of vacant storefronts. K-Mart is committed to its lease through 2018, and has an option to renew.

“We are pleased to receive the support of the College Foundation in helping us realize this goal,” said College President Daniel P. Larson. “This empowers the College to be master of its own fate in Oswego County. Our long-term vision for the Fulton Campus includes sports fields, child care facilities, performance areas, and possibly even student housing. These projects would be difficult to enact through lease agreements and multiple locations for our campus. The River Glen space and adjoining property really gives us the ability to grow into the full-service campus our students deserve.”

College Foundation President Gail Cowley stated that the board believes the purchase will be mutually beneficial for the College and for the Foundation.

“The mission of the Foundation is to support the College and its students,” she said. “Our student growth in Fulton has exceeded all expectations. That campus is functioning at maximum capacity in terms of space, and as the population of Oswego County is 50 percent larger than Cayuga, we project continued growth for years to come. The College made it clear that the Fulton Campus expansion is its top priority right now, and we’re very happy to support the project.”

The College has experienced a dramatic increase in enrollment at the Fulton campus. In 1994, Cayuga first began offering courses to 92 students in two rooms in Fulton. By 2006, when the Fulton Extension Center became an official Branch Campus that offers complete degree programs, enrollment had jumped to 1,106 students. Today, campus enrollment in Fulton is more than 1,260.

The College intends to move its Fulton campus from its current 50,000-square-foot space in the Fulton Commons on West Broadway Street/Route 3 into the former P&C Foods building by fall 2012. The new building offers a larger space and 30,500 square feet in a partial second floor to be added as part of the remodeling project. The River Glen property also makes for an attractive collegiate setting. It sits on a small hill at the intersection of the major, divided highway Interstate 481 and Route 57 at the southeast end of Fulton. The entrance to the property is highly visible, and controlled by a traffic light. The plaza has 898 parking spots.

Maggie Killoran, associate vice president and dean of the Fulton Campus, said she is excited to see momentum building for the new campus. Throughout spring and early summer, students, faculty, and staff members met with representatives from JMZ Architect to share their vision for, and discuss the design of the new Fulton Campus.

“This announcement bolsters the enthusiasm and anticipation the Fulton Campus community is feeling about the expansion project,” Killoran said. “The College is not only creating a space to meet our immediate needs, but also thinking of the long-term prosperity of this campus.”

The CCC Foundation was founded in 1982 to support educational and other related programs at Cayuga Community College. Its Board of Directors includes William Lynch, superintendent of the Fulton City School District; Michael Treadwell, CEO of Operation Oswego County; and Robert Wallace, CEO of Eastern Shore Associates Insurance.