SUNY Broome building up, filling void

By Brandi Bailey

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM EST

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) SUNY Broome is joining many other community colleges around the state by adding a residence hall to its campus.

The project will also fill a void college officials say has existed for years.

The campus celebrated Tuesday with a groundbreaking ceremony after years of planning and struggle.

"I hear all the time from parents that they really wanted their son or daughter to go to Broome but they wanted to have that residential experience," said President of SUNY Broome, Dr. Kevin Drumm.

SUNY Broome leaders say they wish the project had come to fruition sooner. But with restrictions blocking the school from actually owning the buildings in which students will live, they were forced to pursue other options.

The new hall will be owned by the BCC Foundation.

The land for its build is being leased from the county.

The more than $20 million project has received financial backing from First Niagara Bank.

"It's strictly bonds. And then it will be paid back through the rent that students will pay," Drumm said.

Many of the students on campus say the idea is a long time coming, and one that can only improve campus life.

"I think it's a great idea. I think with this institution its great. I think it's a great place and there's great people," said SUNY Broome student Taylor Britton.

The 34- bed building will also hold a Skype lounge, group gathering areas and classrooms for learning.

The new additions are an effort to expand and improve its learning environment, and turn the campus into "a 24/7 learning community instead of the few hours that students come and go from a commuter campus," Drumm said.

Existing buildings will also see some changes. The dining hall will be changing its hours to accommodate the expected influx of students and their schedules. The campus will add more picnic tables and new bike racks to encourage on-campus living.

Tours of model rooms will begin this fall.

Students will soon be able to apply for rooms, choosing from standard double rooms, single rooms or super single rooms.