Privatized student housing in the works

Tyler McNeil, Staff Writer

Three different developers have responded to Hudson Valley’s request for privatized student housing at the former Hy Rosenblum Administration Center.

The 91,793-square-foot former administration building, located at the corner and Morrison and Vandenburgh Ave. would be the site of student housing.

“We’re seeing greater interest in student residency near the college, and we would like to explore ideas on how to best utilize existing property,” said Drew Matonak, Hudson Valley president.

A request for proposal, issued in June 2013, called for bidders to submit plans including removal of the RNC, the adjacent garage and the creation of student housing on the property.

If the agreement is approved, a private developer would be allowed to acquire land by ground lease, finance, build and operate student housing independent from the college.

Plans for future student housing included 10 month leases and $550 rent per month in a 320 bed dormitory complex.

Requests for Proposal.09-335 concerning an environmental assessment of the college by licensed architectural/engineering firms was first received and opened by the college on July 28, 2009.

On Nov. 26, 2013, a resolution approved by the college’s Board of Trustees authorized Sequence Development and Omni Housing Development LLC to conduct an environmental review of the Hy Rosenblum Administration Center.

“The outcome of the SEQRA, which is currently being undertaken by the developers at their own cost, will determine whether the project can proceed,” said Eric Bryant, assistant director of Communications and Marketing.

“Any development on the property is subject to traffic and environmental impact approval before the college decides to move forward,” said Bryant.

In Sept. 2012, Schenectady County Community College opened its new student dormitory. The following month, Fulton-Montgomery Community College opened its second dormitory.

Adirondack Community College had a dormitory occupancy of nearly 70% following the Fall 2013 semester.

In 2007, the Faculty Student Association contacted MGT of America to conduct a Student Housing Economic Feasibility study.

The study concluded that student housing could increase enrollment. 83 percent of first year students claimed they would be interested in student housing.

In June 2005, Hudson Valley contracted Mid-State Industries to remove the roofing system of the Hy Rosenblum Center in the garage and round chapel area. The $58,000 construction project is still in progress.

The Hy Rosenblum Center was born nearly a decade before the college’s founding in 1953.

The former administration building was constructed as a monastery in the 1940s and had several additions made to it in 1960.

In 1984, Hudson Valley purchased the monastery and used it for offices and classrooms. The building has been vacant since 2011.

The current RNC was named after Hyman Rosenblum, a former secretary of the colleges Board of Directors. Rosenblum is known for the college’s foundation in 1953 and renaming Hudson Valley Technical Institute to Hudson Valley Community College.

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