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Q4: Anne Kress, president, Monroe Community College

Rochester Business Journal
March 2, 2012

Q: Last week the Monroe Community College board of trustees agreed to a five-year lease extension for the Sibley Building. Will this lease allow for growth that is expected of the Damon City Campus?

A: This lease allows us to maintain the continuity of our offerings and support the current population of students downtown while we move forward in planning for our new campus at the Kodak complex on State Street and Morrie Silver Way. The uncertainty stemming from the unresolved lease raised questions in the minds of many, including current and future students-about the short-term availability of an MCC education downtown. So having that question settled certainly benefits the college and our students.
 
As we plan for the move to the Kodak properties, we continue discussions about new academic programs and services as well as enrollment growth that will be supported in that location.

Q: How is progress toward the new site for the downtown campus going, and what focus is the college taking?

A: The process is largely in the hands of Monroe County, our partners in this project. The county is moving forward with the required environmental review and appraisals that need to happen before the project can be considered by the county Legislature. The college is supporting those efforts and working closely with county officials on these steps.
 
MCC is focused on reaching out to stakeholders and interested parties to ensure we communicate our vision for the proposed permanent downtown campus. We very much want to hear from those who are interested in the potential this project holds for our students, our community and-importantly-our new neighbors. For instance, earlier this month, in conjunction with our partners at Kodak, we invited businesspeople from the High Falls area to tour the Kodak property to hear about our plans. We will continue to hold more of these tours and conversations with all project stakeholders. MCC is the community's college and we take our mission to serve the full diversity of our community seriously. Our success at fulfilling this mission is determined by how well we listen-and respond.

Q: Has the time frame of moving into the new downtown site changed with the new lease?

A: MCC's publicly stated goal is to move to our new permanent location by fall 2015, but we also know this is an aggressive timetable. In reality, projects like these always seem to take longer than one hopes-as the history of the downtown campus shows quite clearly.

Q: What does a different time frame do to the college's overall plans?

A: We've been looking for a downtown location that gives our students the best possible opportunity to succeed in their education and on their career paths since we landed in our temporary location at the Sibley Building in 1992. Now that we have identified our new permanent home, a location unanimously supported by all college constituencies from the board to our students, we are much more interested in doing this right than in simply getting it done.

-Nate Dougherty

3/2/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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