Cayuga Community College has a plan to turn 50,000 square feet of grocery store space into 80,000 square feet of learning space.
Even as the college’s plan won approval Monday night from the Fulton Planning Commission, college officials indicated that planners would be seeing more plans eventually as the school grows quickly in its new home.
The college will build a second story inside the former P&C supermarket along Route 481 on the city’s southern border.
The store’s 20-foot ceiling height allows the second story to be built.
The building will house classrooms and offices.
Cayuga Community College has outgrown its home in the former Pyramid Mall across town but the college’s lease there has four more years to run.
College officials told planners that the school would hold non-credit and workforce development classes there until the lease expires.
The school’s plan is to have all of its operations at the River Glen Square property by then.
“The long-term plan is to become the college’s Fulton campus, but we’re in phase one,” said Karin Kilgore-Green, a principal in the college’s architecture firm, JMZ Architects and Planners of Glens Falls.
So the college’s space plans include the use of the small retail stores, most of them empty, and, eventually, the K-Mart department store.
Kilgore-Green said the college has purchase offers pending for the rest of the shopping center, including the parking lot, and 45 acres of adjacent land that officials have said in the past could be used for athletic facilities.
The Fulton campus has been a bright spot in a troubled county economy. It has continued to grow and college officials believe more growth is possible.
While 23% of Cayuga County high school graduates attend CCC while only 8% of Oswego County graduates do, officials told members of the Planning Commission.