by Jeremy Moule
County Executive Maggie Brooks has submitted legislation that, if approved by the Legislature, would authorize Monroe Community College to acquire new space for a downtown campus.
Specifically, the legislation authorizes MCC to buy several buildings on Kodak's State Street site. The County Legislature's Recreation and Education Committee will take up the referral during its meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The full Legislature meets on February 12. (The legislation appears at the end of this blog.)
The legislation says the purchase price would be just shy of $3 million. The college would buy several buildings and part of a parking lot.
The college's board chose buildings on Kodak's State Street site as its preferred location for a new, permanent downtown campus. MCC plans to invest $72 million to buy and renovate the buildings and move the downtown campus from its current location in the Sibley building on East Main Street.
Rochester Mayor Tom Richards opposes the move, saying students would be better served by keeping the campus at the Sibley building. Legislature Democrats have sided with the mayor. But in December, they joined with Republicans to unanimously support a measure granting permission for the county to borrow $28 million for a new downtown campus.
This statement from Brooks was posted on the county's website:
“Today, at the request of MCC President Anne Kress, I proudly submitted official legislation to the County Legislature that authorizes the acquisition of what will become a state-of-the-art new campus for MCC in downtown Rochester. The College’s plan has been thoroughly vetted and received widespread community support in multiple public forums and throughout the site selection process. I am pleased that the planning stage is now complete and I look forward to seeing MCC begin construction on a new downtown home that will best serve the needs of its students for years to come.”