In response to overwhelming demand, Jamestown Community College has provided students with a third residence hall.
Even better, it has created the new residence hall at a 32 percent discount from the original two halls and plans on passing along that discount to students.
According to John Garfoot, vice president and dean of administration at JCC, the college is trekking into uncharted territory by being the first community college in the state to own its own residence halls.
Members of residence life stand in front of the newest suite. From left, Genevieve Thevenin, Jake Steinhoff, Kayla Crosby, Renee Massa, Frank Tierney, Tyler Silagyi and Amy Hadley.
P-J photos by Remington Whitcomb
"We're not the first community college in the state to have residence halls," said Garfoot, "but we are the first to own our own halls. Before this, it was always practiced that residence halls at community colleges were privately owned at an arm's length away. We looked into it, and there was nothing stating that community colleges couldn't own their own residence halls."
With regard to the drop in the cost of production of the new residence hall, much of the discount came as a result of JCC teaming up with the county to find the right loan programs.
"We have an interest rate that is under 3 percent through the county," said Garfoot. "If we had gone with a conventional bank funded (loan), we would have wound up issuing $700,000 more debt in principal for closing cost. What we are saving in interest over this 20-year period is $4.4 million in debt service. It works out to be $5.1 million in total we're saving."
The numbers speak for themselves. Where the 220 beds which were made available by the first two residence halls incurred a total debt service payable of $23,903,050, the newest residence hall provides 120 beds at a total debt service payable of $8,806,800. The total debt service per bed over per year ends up being $2,936, which is a savings of $1,703 per bed per year from the conventional financing of the first two residence halls.
"We're saving the kids $1,700 per bed per year for the next 20 years," said Garfoot. "We're very proud of that."
The new hall is located between Hillside Suits North and South on the Curtis Street side of the campus. Like the previous two halls, which opened in 2008, the new facility offers suite-style accommodations with private bedrooms and shared living room, kitchen and dining spaces in each suite.
In total, the new suite is 34,000 square feet. Unlike the North and South suites, all bedrooms in the new suite are single occupancy.
And though JCC has received many requests for accommodation in the new suite, it is currently only 85 percent full. Students who are interested in boarding in the new suite are encouraged to apply before all beds are claimed.
"We're very fortunate to have this quality of a facility for our students," said Greg Decinque, president of JCC. "Having students living on our campus has changed some things ... and I think, on the whole, it has turned out to be a very positive change for our campus. I think the campus environment has improved for the good since the advent of the residence halls."
Each suite contains either four or five bedrooms, two bathrooms, one kitchen and one common room. The suites are fully furnished and offer independent temperature control in each bedroom.
The suite is nearly complete and will be ready for students come move-in day on Aug. 25.
For additional information on the residence halls or to schedule a tour, call 338-1188.