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Buildings

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Buildings

(NOTE: Information concerning buildings at Rome Campus is included in Rome Campus section of this history. Information on residence halls may be found in section devoted to them specifically)


1919 – Area where MVCC Utica campus and NY State Armory would later be located was the site for an airport, Glen Wicks Field. Pilots complained about the poor condition of the field, which caused accidents.

May 31, 1943 – The Utica Country Day School had its final graduation and closed its doors. Pupils from nursery, elementary and secondary grades – with Ann Kirkendall as marshal leading the way – walked with the graduates t a stage where Headmistress Emeline McCowen made presentations. (The building later housed the New York State Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences, then Mohawk Valley Technical Institute – which became MVCC – and for one year, Notre Dame High School)

August 1946

Contractors were rushing to prepare the Utica Country Day School (New Hartford) for use by the New York State Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences, including painting, carpentry, electricity and plumbing. A new roof was put on the building. The building had been unoccupied for three years, and had deteriorated somewhat, with only a single caretaker, Richard Everett, during that time. The building was owned by Utica National Insurance Company, which would lease it for the NYS Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences at Utica. Third boiler was to be added. Some floors had to be repaired, as they had warped due to the lack of heat over three years. Utica Mutual Insurance has purchased the property, including 36.7 acres, as a site for a home office and had planned to build during the third post-war year. John L. Train, president of Utica Mutual Insurance, said the company had postponed its construction plans to accommodate the Institute.
The Utica Country Day School evolved from Miss Knox’s Day School, located on Cornelia Place in Utica, later site for the Excellsor’s Business School. The New Hartford building was constructed in 1921. The school served approximately 200 male and female students in kindergarten, elementary and academic grades, graduating eight to 10 each year. The wing of the building toward Clinton was for students from nursery school through sixth grade. The wing of the building toward Utica houses seventh-12th grades. Among its former students was Jimmy Sherman, grandson of the Vice President of the United States. In 1941, enrollment had fallen to such an extent that high school grades were discontinued. It closed completely at the end of the 1942-43 academic year. The facility earlier had housed the Utica Female Academy.



October 14, 1946

Operations began in the Utica Country Day School (known as “The Day School”), New Hartford, site later of Wedgewood Apartments. The Country Day School had closed in the early 1940’s. It was a U-shaped stucco building set well back from Genesee Street with two wings reaching to the east and the street. Behind the school, the grade dropped away, permitting a basement level two-story gym. Behind that, the school’s playing fields stretched back to the first fairway of the Yahnundasis Golf Club, across from what later became the Route 12 arterial. The vacant Country Day School was owned by Utica Mutual Insurance Company, and made available by the company for the Institute. Rhoads General Hospital was also considered as a site for the Technical Division – apparently this did not take place. Retail Business Management courses would be located at the Country Day School. Initial enrollment was limited to 180-190 students, with a goal of later increasing it to 300.

1947

Technical Division was established in rented space (initially the top floor, then the two top floors) in the Munro Building (formerly the Utica Steam Cotton Mill), 751 State Street, Utica, (between Spring Street and Cooper Street, on the side of the street closest to Genesee St.) housing new programs in Mechanical Technology and Electrical Technology, the “Technical Division,” also known in early days as the “industrial-technical division.” Textile technology classes also held there. Mechanical Technology classes began January 1, 1947. Plumbers and electricians were still working in classrooms and laboratories when classes began. The original target was to open in October, in Rhoads General Hospital. There were 18 buildings located there, and housing was a possibility. The original target for enrollment was 120-130, to later increase to 300.

Textile and Electrical Technology students were first accepted in September 1947.

January 12, 1956 – The SUNY Board of Trustees approved an 80-acre tract in the Armory Drive-Sherman Drive area (Utica) as the site for a Mohawk Valley Technical Institute campus.

(Utica Daily Press, March 8, 1956) – “MVTI Building Plan O.K. As Architect, Unit Sign - The way was paved late yesterday for the preparation of plans and specifications for the construction of new buildings and a campus for Mohawk Valley Technical Institute, when the Supervisors’ committee signed the agreement with the firm Bice and Baird, and Edward Stone, architects.
The agreement also bears the endorsement of the Board of Trustees of MVTI and the signature of the architects. …
In conveying the title to the county, the City of Utica inserted one provision which directed that unless the county within 10 years from Oct. 21, 1955, does not commence actual erection of the buildings to be used for educational purposes, then the deed shall be nullified and the title revert back to the city. …
The building committee from MVTI comprised Willis V. Daugherty, chairman, J. David Hogue and Cyril J. Statt.
Bice and Baird with offices in the Mayro Building comprises Gordon R. Bice, who studied architecture at Pratt Institute and J. Kenneth Baird, who studied the same subject at Cornell.
They have practiced architecture throughout Central New York for the past quarter of a century, with emphasis in recent years on design for educational buildings.
Recently completed projects include the New Hartford Central School, Faxton Hospital additions, State Highway maintenance garage, and the New York Telephone office building.
Among the current projects are the Lowville Central School, New Hartford Elementary School, Camden Post Office and Kemble School gymnasium.
Edward D. Stone has developed an overall plan for Vanderbilt University campus, had designed and built buildings for the University….

1958

On September 20th, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new Mohawk Valley Technical Institute campus, valued at $3.5 million dollars. Leo M. Rayhill was master of ceremonies. Sharing the platform were MVTI President Albert V. Payne; Boyd Golder, former Utica Mayor and chairman of the State University Trustees’ Committee on Community Colleges; Utica Mayor John T. McKennan; Harold V. Kirch, chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Oneida County; Dr. Lawrence L. Jarvie, Executive Dean for State University’s Institutes and Community Colleges; Senator Fred Rath; Rudolph A. Schatzel, a member of the MVTI Board of Trustees; Willis V. Daugherty, chairman of the MVTI Trustees; Harry Converse, member of the Community College Committee of the Board of Supervisors; and Russell (“Tiny”) Williams, majority leader of the Supervisors. The invocation was given by the Rev. Francis Willenburg and the benediction by Rev. W. Aubrey Arlin. Silent tribute was paid to J. David Hogue, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, who died several days before the groundbreaking.

Mr. Golder reviewed the development of the College and the State University. He pointed out that the City of Utica contributed the 78-acre tract for the campus, valued at $250,000.

State University Dean Jarvis commended the citizens of Oneida County for their foresight in creating the College and cited the important contribution it can make to the Mohawk Valley.

At this point in the College’s history, it offered five programs and enrolled 650 students in rented facilities costing $43,000 annually.

The architect was Edward Durell Stone, and this was his first attempt at designing a college campus. (See separate section on Edward Durell Stone). The intent was to design a campus adequate for 1,000-2,000 students. Dorms were already being considered for the long term. Also involved was Otto Teegen, architect for the State University of New York. Bice & Baird of Utica were associate architects. Clarke & Rapuano were landscape architects.

1959

November 16, 1959 – Cornerstone laying ceremonies for Utica Campus – Remarks by Congressman Alexander Pirnie:

“We are here to lay the cornerstone which will mark the establishment of the new campus of our Mohawk Valley Technical Institute. This beautiful site has long awaited this special event. For many years, daily journeying from my home to my office and knowing of the use to be made of this majestic rise of land, I have envisioned this development, eagerly anticipating the change it would make. Today we note that the project is well underway. The slope has been cleared and graded, skeletons of spacious buildings have arisen so we can now glimpse the shape of things to come.”

“This is a proud and happy moment which has a symbolic significance for us all.”

“To the young people of our County and or State it symbolizes as opportunity to study and develop in the finest of surroundings. For over thirteen years, the Institute has served the community although ill-housed and without a central campus. It began operations in 1946 with the registration of sixty students. Since that date over sixteen hundred young men and women have been graduated to take their places in the business and industrial life of the country. With the advent of these buildings and the expanded program they will make possible, an enrollment of fifteen hundred students can be realized.”

“To the parents of these young people this campus represents solid support for a community program which has given their children purposeful education at a very reasonable cost. In the light of the heavy expense incident to most collegiate programs it is very heartening to a parent to know that such excellent instruction is available right in our very midst at a modest rate.”

“What of the type of education this institution provides! I am much impressed with its very practical value. Its curriculum embraces subjects which train the students to fill a very urgent need for technicians in business and industry and for some time its technological program has been giving vital assistance to our new and expanding industries, seeking technicians to support the work of their engineers. MVTI demonstrated its adaptability during the period of this community’s rebirth when, through a special training program in enhanced the value of our labor market in the fields of real estate, insurance, banking, merchandising and advertising the Institute has provided specialized instruction for our young people, enabling them to enter these fields properly oriented and well-prepared.”

“The founding and growth of the school attests to cooperation within governmental agencies. State and County authorities have teamed up to furnish the necessary planning and supervision. We are justly proud of the vision and determination of the Board of Supervisors of Oneida County which has consistently supported many steps necessary to achieve this accomplishment. The excellent Board of Trustees, headed initially by the late Frederic W. Roedel and now by the very able Willis V. Daugherty, sensed the true community value of the school in its very infancy and never faltered in developing its greater possibilities. Although such efforts gain their best reward in the achievements we are noting today, we remind the Board of Trustees that the community is grateful for their dedicated services.”

“The building program which we are now witnessing reflects the confidence we have in the Institute’s splendid faculty and its President, Albert V. Payne. There is no more appropriate way in which we could express our approval of their efforts than by giving them the tools with which to work.”

For our community this campus becomes an eloquent reminder of our determination to properly service our expanding industrial and business economy and our resolve to provide the leadership of well-trained men and women.”

“A campus is a symbol of quiet strength, of latent power. From these halls will come a great contribution to our community life. This institution which has demonstrated its worth in adversity will have the poise and vision to gain greater heights in these vastly improved surroundings. Supported by government but not dominated by it, this school belongs to this community. With true pride we lay this cornerstone and dedicate this program to purposeful education, confident that this school will serve faithfully the purpose of its founding.”

1960

Main campus on Sherman Drive, Utica opened in September on 78 acres, replacing sites in New Hartford and State Street, Utica. The campus was designed by world famous architect Edward Durell Stone (See separate section on Mr. Stone). Initial construction included the two-story Academic Building, Physical Education Building and one-story College Center (initially called the Student Union), and cost $3.5 million. The campus was designed to serve 1,000-1,200 students. President Payne played a major role in designing the campus, along with Otto Teegen, architect for the State University of New York. Bice and Baird of Utica were associate architects. Clarke and Rapuano were landscape architects. Construction began in 1958.

The Academic Building included administrative and faculty offices. The Academic Building was 300 feet long, 80,000 square feet of classrooms and laboratories (26 classrooms, 27 laboratories). Seating capacity: 896. The Academic Building enclosed a center courtyard made of crushed red asphalt broken by three large circles planted with locust trees. In addition to classroom and laboratory space, the Academic Building housed administrative offices and a library.


The original Student Union was a one-story building housing a dining hall and student activity offices. The cafeteria was equipped to serve 400 persons in 20 minutes, a dining hall that seated 500, a game room that would seat 100, a book store, and a student activity room on the second level.

The Gym included 11,025 square feet of floor space, including locker space for 1,000 students, a training room, shower rooms, exercise room, and roll-out bleachers for 1,200. Nearby are a baseball diamond, a quarter-mile track, a soccer field, and a large open field for touch football and softball. Six tennis courts were scheduled to be built.

1961

May 19, 1961 (Friday) – Dedication of MVTI campus. Among the speakers was C. H. Linder, vice president and group executive, Electric Utility Group of the General electric Company. His topic was :Education for Change,” and he pointed out the key role education was playing in the “great transition” then taking place in both the domestic and world economies. Other speakers included Boyd E. Golder, former Utica mayor and member of the SUNY Board of Trustees; Dr. Robert McEwen, president of Hamilton College; Dr. Thomas H. Hamilton, president of the State University of New York; Dr. Carter Davidson, president of Union College; and Dr. E. K. Fretwell, Jr., assistant commissioner for higher education, State Education Department. The ceremonies took place in the Gymnasium, 10 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Faculty members led tours of the Academic Building from 11:15 a.m. until 12 noon. At noon, there was a luncheon in the Student Union, with President Payne introducing guests. From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., there was an educational symposium in the Gymnasium, with the topic “Higher Education in New York State – The Challenge of the Years Ahead.” More tours of the Academic Building followed at 4:00 p.m., followed by a formal banquet in the Student Union at 7:00 p.m. (SEE ALSO INTRO/EARLY MILESTONES)

(On Monday, May 15th, the Utica Daily Press carried an eight-page insert about the College. It included articles by President Albert V. Payne; Seymour Eskow, Dean of Instruction; Leonard C. Schwartz, , Director, Evening & Extension Service; William Pulhamus, Electrical Technology Department Head; John R. Fonseca, Banking, Insurance & Real Estate Department Head; Roy Mitchell, General Education Department Head; Edwin G. Warner, Mathematics & Science Department Head; Milton Richards, Advertising Design & Production Department Head; Benjamin Davis, Mechanical Technology Department Head; and J. Paul Graham, Retail Business Management Department Head.)

Saturday, May 20th and Sunday, May 21st: Open house, with tours led by 50 students.

Also in 1961, the former Utica Country Day School was razed. Bricks from the old building were distributed for souvenirs at a Christmas-time alumni party. Plans were underway to also demolish the Munro Building on State Street.


1964

The Oneida County Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of land to a dormitory authority for the construction of four dormitories. After the bonds have been amortized, the land and buildings would revert to the College. (October 1964) (See Residence Halls)

1966

Four dormitories opened, housing 330 students.

(Mar. 29, 1966, Rome Daily Sentinel) “MVCC Library Building Cost Estimates Doubled” – A new estimate for construction of a library-academic building at Mohawk Valley Community College is more than double the original amount.
Two committees of the Oneida County Board of Supervisors were told last night by Dean Robert D. Larsson, acting college president, that the proposed building would cost $2,965,848 instead of the $1,400,000 originally estimated when the county’s six-year capital program was approved last year by the supervisors.
Construction costs are 50 per cent reimbursable by the state, provided State University standards are met.
Under the latest cost estimates, the county’s share would be $1,482,924 to be split over a three-year period- $35,000 this year; $742,490 in 1967, and $705,434 in 1968.
The dean gave three principal reasons for the higher estimates – mushrooming construction costs since the project was originally planned in 1963; a more realistic projected student body growth and the specifications of the State University on space factors and utilization.
Larson also told the committee that the college might be eligible for a federal grant amounting to 40 per cent of the construction cost. If this materialized, the county’s share would be reduced to 889,755.
But, the dean emphasized, there is no guarantee that he college will actually qualify for such federal aid. …
The construction time table calls for advertising for bids by January 15, 1967, receiving them on March 1 and awarding of contracts by March 15. The target date for completion is June 15, 1968.

1967


(Utica Daily Press – January 27, 1967) – “Regents OK MVCC $1.5 Million Bid – The application of Mohawk Valley Community College for close to $1.5 million in federal aid for a new campus building has been approved, the state Board of Regents announced yesterday.
The new building, which is to house a library and additional classrooms, will actually cost some $3.5 million, according to Dr. Albert Payne, MVCC president.
He said the federal aid, totaling $1,458.065, will reduce by an equal share the amount the state and Oneida County had previously agreed to contribute. Each had agreed to pay one-half of the new facility’s cost….”

(Utica Observer-Dispatch, May 26, 1967) – “For Academic-Library Building – Total MVCC Bids Exceed Estimates – Bids opened today for construction of an academic-library building at Mohawk Valley Community College were $443,000 more than the estimates.
County officials were evaluating bids this afternoon and it was not immediately known if bids totaling $3,176,691 would be accepted on the contracts originally estimated at $2,733,500.
The building would cost $3.6 million, complete with architect’s fees, furnishings and site work.
County Executive Harry S. Daniels opened bids in the Board of Supervisors chambers. About 20 representatives of contractors attended.
The apparent low bidder for general construction was Fletcher-McCarthy Construction Company, Utica and Ogdensburg, which entered a bid of $2,356,351. The only other bid for general construction came from Rouse Construction Corporation, Watertown, at $2,834,000.
For heating, ventilation and air conditioning, J. & K. plumbing and heating company, Binghamton, entered the apparent low bid of $460,400. Other bidders were: H.J. Brandeles corporation, Utica, $527,500; Springer-Schmalz Supply Company, Utica, $530,000; and Myers-Laine Corporation, Utica, $597,000.
Apparent low bidder for electrical work was Langdon & Hughes, Utica, for $247,740. Another bid was entered by Kogut Electric, Utica, for $288,861.
Plumbing low bid was submitted by J. & K. in the amount of $112,200. Brandeles entered a bid of $115,900 and Springer-Schmalz $126,600. Myers-Laine submitted a fourth bid, for $128,889.
The bids were originally scheduled to be opened May 3, but General Building Contractors, Inc., Albany, an association representing 180 contractors across the state, blocked opening of bids, objecting in Supreme Court to shifting of responsibilities from architect to contractor. The matter was resolved last Friday.
The contractors had objected to requirements that the general contractor coordinate the work and that the architect, Edward Durrell Stone, New York City, be free of liability regarding acts of the contractor.
Supreme Court Justice Richard J. Cardamone, who on May 2 issued an order blocking opening of bids, directed (both sides to resolve the issue by making appropriate changes in the bid specifications).”

1968

Construction of Payne Hall continued. Students decorated barriers around the construction site with painted signs. One read “LOV – (L)eague (O)f (V)isual (E)xpression.” Another, in a reference to the Vietnam War, read: “Dear Mr. Johnson, Spring is here. Please send flowers, not Marines.”




1969

(August 8, 1969, Rome Daily Sentinel) – “MVCC Gymnasium Project Again Considered, Daniels Says – The Mohawk Valley Community College gymnasium expansion, deleted from the 1969 capital program budget by the Board of County Legislators, is again under consideration by County Executive Harry S. Daniels and his capital projects committee. The total cost would exceed $1 million.
Daniels said today that the gymnasium expansion would complete the college’s master plan for a capacity student body of 2,400 full-time day students. Currently enrolled are about 1,600.
The gymnasium facility now at MVCC is large enough to give one hour per week per student of physical education, Daniels said. Minus time for undressing and dressing, Daniels said, the student gets about 30 minutes recreation or physical education in that period.
The larger facility envisioned would allow each student two hours a week, effectively tripling the net time each might be able to spend in the gym, he said.
The cost estimate for the 1969 budget was $879,525. The cost estimate for 1970, Daniels said, is $938,184, up 7 ½ per cent, based on the annual increase in construction costs as reported by the Construction Survey, Inc., for the Mohawk Valley.
An additional ‘teaching station,’ a six-lane bowling alley, with the lanes and equipment installed by the manufacturer at no cost to the county, would be provided by an additional outlay of $91,450, and consists of an added 4,351 square feet.
The new total cost for the gymnasium expansion would be $1,029,634 if recommended by the administration and approved by the Board of County Legislators. It has been requested by the college, but Daniels said the decision to include it in the 1970 budget has not yet been made.”

AUGUST 15, 1969 – Observer-Dispatch: MVCC Rome Branch OK’d – Plans for setting up an extension division of Mohawk Valley Community College at Griffiss Air Force Base, Rome, moved into high gear yesterday when the Oneida County Board of Legislators approved the center’s establishment by an overwhelming vote.
Just two legislators dissented while 30 voted for the measure, which included a statement of intent to later establish a full-fledged branch of the college in Rome pending state approval and availability of Oneida County Hospital buildings in Rome. The hospital is tabbed for phase-out soon. (The measure had failed in the Ways and Means Committee on July 30th, but was brought before the full board under a waiver of the rules.)

SEPTEMBER 27, 1969 - A new library/administration building (Payne Hall) was formally dedicated September 27th, in an 11 a.m. ceremony, in the name of Dr. Albert V. Payne, MVCC’s first president. Dr. Payne’s successor, Dr. W. Stewart Tosh, welcomed campus visitors and dignitaries for the ceremony. Highlighting the dedication ceremony were remarks by Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas S. Kernan, County Executive Harry S. Daniels, and Congressman Alexander Pirnie (R-New Hartford, New York’s 32nd District,) to an audience of approximately 300 guests. Included in the building was a library, three auditoriums, several biology laboratories, two language laboratories, a television classroom and administrative and faculty offices. The building contained 98,000-square-feet of space. It was constructed of pre-cast concrete faced with white glazed brick. The cost had risen to $4.5 million. Guided tours of the new building followed the ceremony. The building was designed by Edward Durrell Stone, architect for all the MVCC buildings.

MVCC news release on Payne Hall dedication, issued Sept 29, 1969: “ ‘Ours will be a better tomorrow because of what we are doing here, on this campus, today,,’ stated Congressman Alexander Pirnie (R-New Hartford) Saturday at Mohawk Valley Community College dedicated its new library-academic building, Payne Hall.
Congressman Pirnie and Oneida County Executive Harry Daniels were among the speakers at the dedication of the new building in honor of Dr. Albert V. Payne, first president of MVCC.
Thomas Kernan, Chairman of the MVCC Board of Trustees, formally dedicated the building in the name of Dr. Payne, ‘a man who without question is more responsible for what the college is today than any other/’ Acknowledging the dedication, Dr. Payne reviewed his close association with the people of Utica for more than 20 years and said that he felt ‘the honor I receive today belongs to a great many people in the Utica area.’
In an address to an audience of approximately 300 guests at the MVCC dedication ceremony, Congressman Pirnie emphasized the great importance of government commitment to higher education, noting that ‘our problems today point out the obvious need for expanding our horizons to find real solutions’ and the enormous role of education in providing the opportunity to find these solutions. He praised the allied commitment of the federal, New York State, and Oneida County governments to MVCC and the support of those commitments with the funds necessary to further higher education in this area.
County Executive Daniels called the new building ‘a visible testimony that Oneida County recognizes and supports excellence in higher education.’ He concluded his remarks by pointing out that ‘the doors of MVCC are always open to the aspiring in this county.’
The dedication ceremony, held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Payne Hall Auditorium, was conducted by Dr. W. Stewart Tosh, President of MVCC. Others on the platform included Mrs. Albert Payne, Russell Williams, chairman of the Oneida County Board of Legislators; Robert Griffiths, chairman of the Oneida County Youth and Education Committee, and past and present members of the MVCC Board of Trustees.

1970

??The Academic Building was renovated, moving administrative offices and library to Payne Hall, and increasing classroom space by nearly 25%

The College Center was also expanded, adding meeting rooms, two game rooms, a student projects room, , a student lounge and dining room, a faculty dining area, a new snack bar and new offices for student government and campus publications, and enlarging bookstore facilities, and snack bar.

Plans were also underway for expansion of the Gym, to add bowling alleys, a swimming pool), four handball courts, a wrestling and tumbling room, a multi-purpose exercise room and one classroom.


1972

May 22, 1972 – County Executive William Bryant released $35,216 (of $78,472 previously appropriated) for planning an expansion of the Gymnasium. The expansion, estimated to cost $2.4 million, would include additional classrooms, a fitness center, a swimming pool, offices, expanded dressing rooms

1974

January – the State budget included half the cost of a $2.5 million expansion of the gymnasium that would add a swimming pool and classrooms. The project was expected to be completed by 1976.

(Feb. 20, 1974, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “MVCC May Get $2.5-Million Bldg. For Physical Studies” – Construction of a $2.5 million physical education building at Mohawk Valley Community College could begin this September if all legislative hurdles are cleared, Oneida County Executive William Bryant announced today.
Bryant said he has asked the Board of Legislators for authorization to file an application with the State Dormitory Authority for 50 per cent state financing.
Gov. Malcolm Wilson has proposed the state share for the project, Bryant said. If the board grants authorization, and the State Legislature approved the project for inclusion in the state budget, construction bids could be let in July.
The physical education building has been in the planning stages for some time and was included as a capital project in this year’s county budget.
The project calls for a six-lane swimming pool, four hand-ball courts, a physical education classroom, seven general-use classrooms, a multi-purpose exercise room, a wrestling and tumbling room, three offices, a waiting room and locker-room and shower facilities for men and women.
Oneida County would finance the remaining 50 per cent of the 42,000-square-foot project through bonding, Bryant said. However, the county also is seeking federal aid which would split the cost 40 per cent federal, 30 per cent state and 30 per cent local….”

Rome Extension Center opened on Floyd Avenue – see section on Rome Campus.

The MVCC Annex opened in September 1974, on Jefferson Avenue in Utica. Courses offered there were refrigeration and air conditioning, offset lithography, oil burner repair, major appliance repair, sheet metal fabrication and welding.

(June 17, 1974, Utica Daily Press) – “Vocational Education Program Expands MVCC Past Boundaries” – Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) has outgrown its boundaries.
The college has opened an educational center in for former P&C Supermarket, 1018 Jefferson Avenue….
Called the MVCC Annex, the college has equipped four laboratories in offset lithography, automatic heating, sheet metal fabrication and welding. A vocational education grant provided he funds to purchase the equipment.
The four programs have attracted 60 students, many of whom are unemployed and have enrolled to develop a marketable vocational skill, Armond Festine, dean of continuing education, said…
Classes began in March, but plans for the center started as early as 1972. College officials realized there was no space on campus to house the new educational programs…..”

1975

Oneida County awarded contracts for the expansion of the physical education building at MVCC’s Utica Campus. Contracts for general construction, electrical work, plumbing and heating/ventilation/air conditioning totaled $2,310,811. The expansion included the addition of eight classrooms, four faculty offices, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a wrestling room, locker rooms, four handball courts, a multipurpose exercise room and a physical conditioning room. The general contractor was MacFarland Brothers, Inc., Latham. Architect was Edward Durell Stone Associates, New York City. Associate architect engineer was Gismondi & Arnold, White Plains. Other contractors included Consolidated Sheet Metal, Whitesboro, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; H.J. Brandeles Corp. Utica, plumbing; M. Scher & Son, Albany, electrical work.(March 1975)

In April 1975, President George Robertson and architects from Gismondi & Arnold presented two options to Trustees for locating a proposed $3.2 million 52,000 square foot classroom building on the Utica Campus. One option would be a two-story building halfway between the physical education building and the academic building. A second option was for a three-story building directly in front of Payne Hall, facing the inner courtyard and connecting the new building to Payne Hall and the Academic Building with weather-protected walkways.

(October 12, 1975 – Rome Daily Sentinel) – “MVCC Board studies renovation of mill – Mohawk Valley Community College, pressed for space and about to lose its lease on an off-campus site now in use, has begun plans to accommodate its growing student body in space at the Beaunit Fiber Mill, Broad Street, Utica.
The MVCC Board of Trustees, meeting Tuesday, reported on the gift of the mill from Utica attorney Milton Abelove and associates.
Plans for renovations must be approved both by Oneida County and the State University of New York as well as by the MVCC Board.
The directors agreed to permit Board Chairman Russel C. Fielding, President George Robertson and the financial and physical resources committee to obtain a professional estimate on renovation costs.
Since the college figures it needs only about 20,000 square feet of space in the mill, Robertson said some tenants currently in the 110,000-square-foot mill would be able to remain if MVCC accepts the offer to use Beaunit space…”

(Oct 15, 1975, Observer-Dispatch) – “Portable Classrooms Possibility at MVCC – We can’t live with the present arrangement for very long,” Mohawk Valley Community College President George Robertson said yesterday, referring to the gain of 600 students this fall.
Full-time students at the two-year community college have reached 3,125 or 27 per cent more than what was enrolled a year ago, Robertson said….
Robertson said obtaining portable classrooms would be the easiest solution. Other long range reliefs would be the possible rental of space off campus or transferring students to the Rome Extension Center. He said the latter solution may pose a geographic problem.
He also said the administration was investigating the rearrangement of the Jefferson Avenue annex. Most of the space there is devoted to vocational shops and laboratories. He said a study would be made to see if classrooms were feasible….”

(Dec. 4, 1975, Observer-Dispatch) – “2 Buildings-Free; That’s Offer to MVCC - … Four downtown businessmen say they have not one, but two, available – free for the asking.
The offer of the free buildings was made this week to expanding Mohawk Valley Community College.
The offer was made by businessmen and law partners Milton Abelove, his son C. Louis Abelove, son-in-law Norman Siegel, and their business associate Sidney Gennis.
The buildings in question are the former Beaunit Fiber Mill No. 2, of about 90,000 square feet, and an adjacent attached smaller building of about 20,000 square feet.
MVCC President George Robertson and Board Chairman Russel Fielding today called the offer ‘generous,’ and said they are studying it.
MVCC has been looking for about 20,000 square feet for shop, lab, and classroom uses…. ‘one question we have to answer’ is whether the college wants to acquire five times as much space as it was seeking, Robertson said….”

(Dec 15, 1975, Observer-Dispatch) – “Donovan Bill Would Aid MVCC – A bill that would enable Oneida County to finance the state’s half of the cost of Mohawk Valley Community College’s gymnasium addition, and guarantee reimbursement by the state, will be introduced in the State Senate by Sen. James H. Donovan, R-Chadwicks.
Donovan announced today that he would introduce the bill so that construction on the $2.5 million complex could continue.
The project, which will add a swimming pool and several classrooms and other related facilities to the MVCC gym, has been affected by the growing state fiscal crisis. Under the State Education Law, community college construction is financed half by the state and half by the institution’s sponsoring county. Oneida County put up its half of the money and construction has been proceeding.
However, the state Dormitory Authority, which must sell bonds to finance the state’s share, has been having trouble selling its bonds. Oneida County officials warned that once the county money runs out, there will be no cash left to continue work.
County Comptroller said the money will run out some time next month.
County Executive William Bryant asked the Board of Legislators to bond for the state’s half and seek state reimbursement later. County legislators, however, have been reluctant to pass the measure without some guarantee that the state would pay them back.
Berg said local banks might not be willing to grant the local to the county without the guarantee.
Donovan said today that he has discussed the matter with county officials and bonding attorneys and decided to proceed with the state legislation to provide the guarantees.
The senator said the Education Law must also be changed to allow the county to sell the bonds.


1976

(March 25, 1976, Observer-Dispatch) – “Board Approves MVCC’s Building of Lab-Classroom – Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) will have more room for its students on campus with the construction of a temporary laboratory-classroom structure.
The Board of Legislators approved the project yesterday by establishing a capital project fund. The project will cost about $991,000.
The college plans to build 30,000 square feet of instructional space as a replacement to renting off-campus facilities and using four temporary classrooms.
Under the proposed plan, the county will build the frame structure on a concrete slab and rent it to the college for an annual fee. MVCC will pay the rent out of its operating budget.
The new building will consist of vocational shops and studio facilities for the advertising design and production classes.
The project will be available for 40 per cent state reimbursement. The college’s current facilities are not large enough to handle the increased student enrollment….”

(Nov. 10, 1976, Utica Daily Press) – “Bryant Opposes SUNY Building Plan for MVCC – The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees (SUNY) has apparently lifted its construction freeze and has submitted in its 1977-78 budget a request for $3.8 million for a multi-purpose administration and classroom building at Mohawk Valley Community College.
But Oneida County Executive William Bryant said he opposes the building’s construction and he has notified a SUNY official that he does not approve of its inclusion in the SUNY budget.
If SUNY does not eliminate the item, Bryant said last night that he would go to State Budget Director Peter Goldmark and urge him to withdraw it.
Bryant said the college could ‘come up with an answer at a much lower costthan the college is now proposing.’
The multi-purpose administration-classroom building is estimated at$3,860,000 with $1,930,000 coming from the state and the remainder from the county.
Bryant favors the college constructing a pre-engineered, temporary structure at $750,000. The structure, which has been approved by Bryant and the Board of Legislators, would be paid for as part of the annual operating expense.
The temporary building was designed to replace the off-campus rental of commercial property and coordinate all laboratories and classrooms on the Utica campus.
The multi-purpose building was stalled when the state placed a moratorium on all new SUNY construction in 1975. The freeze developed because the State Dormitory Authority was having difficulty in selling its bonds.
The controversy between what the MVCC Board of Trustees wants and what Bryant is supporting became public at yesterday’s board meeting.
Board Chairman Russel Fielding released a letter that Bryant had written to Ellis M. Rowlands, director of facilities planning for community colleges.
In the letter, Bryant explained his reasons for not approving the multi-purpose and asking the state to eliminate it.
His reasons are:
- Present facility needs can be met with the $750,000, 30,000 square foot, pre-engineered building.
- The proposed facility is ‘nothing more than an administrators’ office building having little classroom or laboratory space.’ Bryant said the proposal would require renovating the present administrative offices into classrooms, pushing up the cost of the proposal.
- The county could not justify spending $4 million when $750,000 would do the job. ‘To be blunt, the high cost of welfare and Medicaid is forcing the county governments throughout New York State to raise taxes to confiscatory levels and to eliminate many optional services, including those of public safety and health care.’
- MVCC’s enrollment for the present academic year is down about 145 students from the projected enrollment upon which the college’s 1977 budget is based.
Bryant urged the state to withhold the request until ‘such time when the need and the ways and means are established.’
In the meantime, Bryant asked SUNY to approve the rental expense for the temporary structure as part of the college’s annual operating budget as presently approved by the state for the commercial property rental.
Bryant said county taxpayers would have to assume one fourth of the cost of the temporary facility as it has been proposed. Bryant also said more than $50,000 in county funds have gone into the design of the pre-engineered building and one $15,000 contract has been expended.
‘I think the public will support my view,’ Bryant said. ‘We can not expect under these trying times to be spending such money. I think it will be more palatable to the hardpressed taxpayers of Oneida County.’…”

The Physical Education Building was expanded, adding eight classrooms, a swimming pool, two handball-racquetball courts, a wrestling room, physical conditioning room, and multi-purpose room. Work on this had started in October 1975, completed January 1977. General contractor was MacFarland Brothers Inc., of Latham. Payment was delayed because of a problem with bricks after the work was done.

(12-3-76, Observer-Dispatch)- “MVCC to Scrap Temporary Building Construction Plan – Mohawk Valley Community College will tell Oneida County to halt plans to construct a $750,000 pre-engineered, temporary structure as a substitute for off-campus, rental space.
The college trustees voted unanimously yesterday to renew an option for the Jefferson Avenue leased facility on a month-to-month basis when the present lease expires June 30. The rent would be $2,083 monthly.
The college trustees changed their minds about the pre-engineered structure when they said they could not accept architectural designs for the building.
But, they did not rule out any future compromise agreement with county officials for a pre-engineered facility.
The project design was to have been completed by Dec. 27 and let for bids shortly afterwards, according to County Public Works Commissioner Seymour Greene.
The plans were drawn by his department, except for the mechanical details done under a $15,000 contract with an architectural firm. Some test borings of the selected site were made, Greene said, bringing the county’s investment in the project to about $17,000.
The trustees said they will reexamine their space needs, possibly agreeing on a smaller size facility than the previously planned 30,000 square feet.
In the meantime, they will investigate other rental facilities, and the purchase of an off-campus building.
The pre-engineered building had been approved by the Board of Acquisition and Contract and the legislators.
The trustees also will ask the State University of New York (SUNY) to delay for one year construction of a $3.9 million, multi-purpose administration and classroom building.
The Board of Acquisition and Contract previously notified SUNY that it did not want the funds included in the 1977 state budget.
Greene said the county may decide to ask SUNY to include the permanent structure in the 1978 state budget if the college shows a need for additional facilities.
The trustees said they will ask the state to reserve the funds for next year.
If the county had approved the construction, it would have had to finance the state’s share. In return, the state would have repaid 50 per cent of the debt incurred annually. The state’s repayment would have included the cost of legal fees….”


1977

(January 18, 1977, Utica Newspapers) – “New MVCC Office Building Is Approved by Trustees – Details of a proposed Mohawk Valley Community College classroom and office building will be discussed this week by officials of the college and Oneida County.
The MVCC Board of Trustees approved yesterday a resolution calling for an additional 30,000 square feet of classroom space.
Last month, the trustees turned down a building proposed by Oneida County because they said the building did not meet their needs.
The 30,000 square foot building would have been built for $750,000 in county funds and leased to the college.
At the time, the county’s prefabricated building was rejected, the trustees said they would restudy the college’s needs for more space with the idea of possible reducing the requirements from 30,000 square feet. Yesterday they reaffirmed their need for the amount previously listed.

The Oneida County Board of Acquisition and Contract approved construction of a $2 million classroom-laboratory building at MVCC (Utica Campus). The 42,000 square foot structure will be built by the county and rented to the College. (March 1977)

(March 16, 1977 – Observer-Dispatch) – “MVCC to Get $2-Million Building – A new ‘compromise’ $2 million classroom and lab building for Mohawk Valley Community College was approved today by the Ways and Means Committee of the Oneida County Board of Legislators….
(MVCC President George) Robertson said the building would have 42,000 square feet, of which 34,000 would be used for academic purposes.
MVCC officials and County Executive William Bryant had once disagreed over MVCC building needs. This new building is a compromise that came out of that disagreement. Bryant had favored a building that would cost $750,000 to $900,000; some MVCC officials had favored a $3.8 million building. …The building project is expected to go before the board for final approval sometime in the next few weeks.” (The full board of legislators approved the project on March 30th)


On April 23rd, 1977, the expanded Physical Education Building was officially opened, as part of the College’s 30th anniversary celebration.

1978

(Observer-Dispatch, Feb 24, 1978) “County Releases Payment to MVCC Gym Contractor – Oneida County has released a $121,109 payment to MacFarland Builders, Inc., of Latham, apparently paving the way for MacFarland to drop a case that was scheduled to be heard in Supreme Court Wednesday against Oneida National Bank.
The payment, which assistant controller James Meehan said was released Wednesday on a ‘rush order,’ ends a one-year dispute between the county and MacFarland. MacFarland was the general contractor for Mohawk Valley Community College’s new physical education building.
County officials had refused to give MacFarland its final $119,717 payment, saying they were unhappy with problems of ‘bleeding’ through the building’s brickwork. The matter had gone into binding arbitration and the panel had told the county to pay MacFarland last August.
When the payment wasn’t forthcoming, MacFarland filed suit for the money against Oneida National Bank, which handles county accounts….”



(March 15, 1978, Rome Daily Sentinel) – “Location in Herkimer County snag to MVCC space answer – Mohawk Valley Community College administrators say they have found ideal temporary quarters to meet immediate space needs until a permanent building is constructed on campus.
It is inexpensive, landscaped, suitable for renovation and immediately available.
There’s only one problem, and it’s a major one to some people, including County Executive William E. Bryant.
The building, the former Univac plant, is located in Herkimer County.
College officials, including Dr. George Robertson, president, and MVCC trustees chairman Stuart M. MacMackin, think this attitude is a parochial one that must give way to the realities of the situation, but county officials, who must okay the leasing arrangement, are holding off on their approval….
According to (Trustee Eugene) Madden and Gilbert H. Jones, members of the trustees’ physical facilities committee, Bryant’s objections are two-fold: The building is located in Herkimer County and he doesn’t want MVCC moving into an old mill, which he views as an unsuitable site for a college.
The stalemate is another round in a two-year-old fight by MVCC officials to lease space for its burgeoning student body while waiting for state approval of a $2 million laboratory-classroom building at the Sherman Drive, Utica, campus.
The board has repeatedly rejected the county’s offer of a temporary structure as being unsuitable and untimely for the college’s immediate needs.
Dr. Robertson expressed concern to the trustees at a board meeting Tuesday that ‘I fear the temporary building suggested by the county would become the permanent building’ because of its 20-year financing plan and 30-year life span.
Dr. Robertson said the alternative to finding suitable space by fall is to reduce enrollment accordingly, immediately rejected by Trustee Emeritus David Evans.
The president said the present leased facility on Jefferson Avenue is renewable, but this provides only about 8,000 square feet of space compared to the 38,000 square feet available at the Univac site.
If the Univac plant were approved, he said, the entire advertising and design program could be moved out of its present crowded space on campus, with room to spare for industrially-oriented classes.
Dr. Robertson said the Univac building, owned by Charles Gaetano, a Utica contractor, became available after ‘an exhaustive search’ which included Utica’s Boston Store, Towne East Mall and Brandagee School, and a vacant building at the County Airport.
Dr. Robertson said the first floor of the former Boston Store is suitable ‘if we are willing to pay a premium price.’
Without disclosing the amount quoted by Gaetano for the Univac location, Dr. Robertson did say ‘it is abut half the cost of equivalent sites in Oneida County.’ He also credited Gaetano with making many improvements to the property, which makes it desirable for MVCC expansion.
Dr. Robertson and MacMackin pointed out that Gaetano’s corporate office is actually located in Oneida County, with the boundary cutting through the former industrial tract and the two-story building available for lease.
‘We would actually be leasing from an Oneida County firm,’ Robertson pointed out in defense of the location…..”

(June 19, 1978, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “Carey denies fund for MVCC building – Gov. Carey’s proposed $538 million supplemental budget does not contain the $1 million appropriate necessary to finance the state’s share of a $2 million permanent laboratory-classroom building planned for Mohawk Valley Community College, State Sen. James H. Donovan, R-46, Chadwicks, announced today.
The matching $1 million to pay for the building already had been approved by the Board of County Legislators….
Edward Byrne, assistant to Donovan, said that it is unlikely that the proposed building will be added to the supplemental budget because Senate and Assembly leaders, surprised at the budget’s large size, will want to cut it….
County Executive William E. Bryant said today the county will proceed with its plans to finance fully an $800,000 pre-engineered temporary building on the MVCC Utica Campus. The county will own the structure and lease the space to the college.
Robertson has said that the temporary building should have a life span of about 10 years and will not replace the permanent building.”


In November, MVCC Trustees approved a proposal to build a $2 million permanent laboratory-classroom building on the Utica Campus. It still faced review by the county legislature, Oneida County Executive William Bryant, and the SUNY Board of Trustees. Architects had suggested placing the building in the existing courtyard of the Academic Building to cut down on heating and electrical costs and to assure more building for the price.

1979

In March 1979, President Robertson reported to the Board of Trustees that the proposed $2 million laboratory classroom building for the Utica Campus would be shelved because New York State would not release its $1 million share, even though the money was included in the State budget.

(May 11, 1979, Rome Daily Sentinel) – “MVCC building on again – The shelved $2 million laboratory-classroom building proposed for Mohawk Valley Community College is back on the books again, at least for the time being.
President George Robertson told Trustees Tuesday the state’s $1 million share has been cleared by the Division of the Budget, which less than two months ago refused to appropriate the money….”

(June 22, 1979, Utica Daily Press) “New MVCC lab building could be erected by 1981 – Construction on Mohawk Valley Community College’s $2 million laboratory classroom building could start by Dec. 1 ‘if everything goes according to plan,’ President George Robertson said.
The Oneida County Board of Legislators will vote Wednesday on the bond sale for the project. …
‘Hopefully,’ Robertson said, ‘the bonds can be sold by July 1,’ leading to the Dec. 1 construction start. The building could be occupied by the spring of 1981, he said.
Current plans call for the building…to be built in the courtyard of the existing MVCC academic building.
That plan would enable the college to get the most building for the money and also would help conserve energy in the existing building, Robertson said.”

(Sept 12, 1979, Utica Daily Press – “New MVCC facility is delayed again – Mohawk Valley Community College’s $2 million laboratory classroom, which has been delayed for over five years, has been delayed again, until spring, because of complications in getting the plans approved.
President George Robertson told the college’s board of trustees yesterday that because of the unique concept of the building – it will be built in the courtyard of the current classroom building, there were delays In meeting classroom requirements set by the state and fire marshal regulations.
… the building was originally scheduled to be underway this fall.

1981

New classroom-laboratory facilities (35,000 square feet) were added as new construction filling in the existing Academic Building courtyard. The cost was $1.8 million. Included on the first floor were a new Business Office, Computer Center, Office of Corporate & Community Programs, Counseling Center, Financial Aid Office, Registrar, all on the first floor, and classrooms on the second floor. For advertising design and production – drawing, design, photography-- and electrical technology – printed circuits, house wiring, television, electrical machines. Construction continued into 1982, delayed by a strike by carpenters and masons. The general contractor was Murnane Associates. Other contractors: HVAC: H.J. Brandeles Corp. Plumbing: Consolidated Sheet Metal Works. Electrical: Mid-State Electrical Co. One of the associated issues was trees in the courtyard. There was widespread sentiment that they should be saved if possible. The following Feb 18, 1981, memo from Vice President John Harniman, Administrative Services, to President Robertson, addresses the issue:

“According to a spokesman from Clinton Gardens, a local landscaper, the eleven honey locust trees located in the “A” Building courtyard can be moved. That is, there is landscaping equipment available to accomplish the physical relocation of the trees.

Survival is another question. Since the trees have grown and matured in an “antiseptic” environment, sheltered from the severe heavy wind, snow and temperature conditions that exist outside the courtyard, the chance of survival is doubtful. The landscaper would offer no guarantee in this respect.

The cost of transplanting would run approximately $550 per tree, for a total of $6,050, with a totally unsatisfactory prediction of success.

The cost of new trees of the same species, only smaller (4-5” diameter), is roughly $200 each. This price includes planting and guaranteed replacement if the trees die.

I would recommend not attempting to transplant the trees.”

(August 8, 1981, Utica Daily Press) – “MVCC classes will be held in Reserve building – The U.S. Naval Reserve’s building on Mohawk Street in Utica will have a new tenant this fall – the criminal justice department of Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC).
Mayor Stephen Pawlinga yesterday approved an agreement with MVCC to lease the property for $1,500 a month for three months beginning Sept. 1. The college has an option to renew the lease for another three months after that.
Although the city owns the Mohawk Street land, the Reserve owns the building. Reserve officials are letting the city use the building at no cost for the next year, Lt. Cmdr. Terry Taylor said.
The Navy’s lease on the property ends Sept. 30, and reservists will begin moving into their new headquarters at Lake Delta School in Rome today, Taylor said. …”

1982

(Jan. 1, 1982, Rome Daily Sentinel) – “MVCC signs lease – Mohawk Valley Community College has signed a 29-month lease for the former Castelletti Pontiac building on East Dominick Street, and will open a vocational center in the building Feb 1.
Glenn W. Salsburg, MVCC dean of planning and development, said an agreement has been reached with General Motors Corp. (GM) to use part of the building for an instruction center for GM dealership mechanics in central New York. Currently, local GM servicemen have been sent to Buffalo or Boston for maintenance and repair instructions.” An earlier Sentinel article, on December 31, 1981, reported that ‘space in a former body shop, an attached building at the rear of the property, will be leased to GM at $50 a day on a per diem basis. GM will send its instructors and conduct one or two-day training sessions in such areas as transmissions, diesel engines, computer testing, fuel injection and even bookkeeping.’

In June, the College leased space (37,000 square feet) in the basement of Chicago Markets Plaza on Mohawk Street (across from Utica City School District offices, Conkling School). The space was used for vocational courses: house wiring, tv-radio repair, electrical circuits. There was also a general purpose classroom and a small student lounge. It was a five year lease, created after Trustees had rejected a proposed 10-year lease. The lease ended in 1988.

1984

(May 9, 1984, Rome Daily Sentinel) – “MVCC technical center closing, classes will shift to Floyd Ave. – Mohawk Valley Community College will close its leased East Dominick Street Technical Center and move programs there back to the Rome campus off Floyd Avenue this summer, the college’s Board of Trustees decided Tuesday.
‘It’s simply not cost effective for us to continue that lease,’ college President Michael I. Schafer told the board at a meeting in the Rome campus Academic Building.
The college has operated its Technical Center in a former car dealership building at 271 E. Dominick Street since February 1982.
Trustee Angela Elefante said she visited the building recently and found that its users ‘seemed to be interested in staying in that location.’ Nonetheless, the trustees voted unanimously in favor of the move after Schafer elaborated on his reasons for proposing the move.
The college will relocate its programs at the Technical Center to a ‘barn facility’ and the Bell Road College Center building at the Rome Campus, according to Schafer and Harold Schecter, assistant dean for program planning and resources/
The 271 E. Dominick Street property is owned by August J. and Julia Navelli. August Navelli said in late 1981 that the Technical Center would be a ‘shot in the art’ for downtown. …
Glenn Salsburg, dean of program planning and resources at the Rome campus, said today he did not know how many people were enrolled in Technical Center courses. He said the center is the site of classes every weeknight. It is closed during the day, he said.
The move to the Rome campus will require $14,400 in renovation work and expenses involved in moving heavy equipment from the Technical Center, Schafer said. But the work will pay for itself in just about half a year, he said.
The annual net cost to the college of the East Dominick Street building is $27,812, Schafer said….
The college’s 29-month lease on the property runs out in August, college officials said. The college has the option to extend the lease for another 29 months.
Schecter said the college will move the small-appliance repair program from the center to the basement level of the Bell Road building. The top floor of the three-story building will house the small-engine repair shop, he said.
The new home for the welding and refrigeration and air-conditioning programs will be a barn on the Rome campus, he said.
Schafer said the masonry and carpentry programs, now in the ‘barn facility,’ use more space than necessary. Schecter said the college will relocate the masonry program to the Bell Road building. ….”

1986 – (See extensive discussion of County legislature debates about Rome vs Utica Campus developing in Rome Campus section, April-May 1986.)

September 9, 1986

The Board of Trustees meeting room, Room 300 of Payne Hall, was dedicated in memory of Charles W. Hall. This followed a major renovation of the room, funded by Norstar Bank (formerly Oneida National Bank, which Mr. Hall had headed.) (See also Trustees section for information on Mr. Hall.)

1987

(Feb 11, 1987, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “Architect is named by MVCC board – The Mohawk Valley Community College Board of Trustees yesterday chose an architect for its Rome campus improvements.
Trustees also decided not to hire an architect for a new $2.2 million building for the Utica campus.
The two projects, totaling $7.4 million, were approved by the Board of Legislators last year. Gov. Mario Cuomo included them in the proposed 1986-87 state budget now before the legislature.
MVCC President Michael Schafer said yesterday he wants to be ready to proceed with designs of the two projects on April 2, if they’re approved in the state budget which takes effect April 1. The state and county each would pay half the project…
Trustees approved the Long Island architectural firm of Gismondi and Arnold, the principal architect of other buildings, including Payne Hall on the Utica campus. The recommendation now goes to State University Construction Fund officials for approval.
Also on Schafer’s recommendation, the trustees selected a pre-engineered building design for the $2.2 million science and technology building for the Utica campus. The recommendation also will be sent to the State University Construction Fund.
The Oneida County Department of Public Works would coordinate the new Utica campus building, and hire architects and engineers as consultants, as needed. Schafer said the move will ensure the building’s exterior coordinates with the campus.
He said the pre-engineered design would allow the county to get a much larger laboratory building. The building costs about $60 per square foot, compared to a specially designed building that could cost as much as $100 a square foot, he said.”

(May 19, 1987, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “MVCC picks local architects – Mohawk Valley Community College’s board of trustees chose Alesia and Crewell Architects to help design and new science and technology building for the Utica campus.
The Utica firm was recommended by the Oneida County Department of Public Works and must be approved by the State University Construction Fund before beginning work. MVCC President Michael Schafer said the county and architects would negotiate a fee after state approval.
Alesia and Crewell were picked from a list of 14 firms interested in the job. Schafer said the college made a special effort to make sure the work was given to an area company.
‘We chose them because they’re good, because they are readily accessible and because we listened when the community told us that whenever possible we should buy local,’ Schafer said.
The college was under fire earlier this year for hiring a White Plains architect to oversee the changes at the Rome campus, including a science and technology building there.
Some county legislators and others felt the job should have been given to Stetson-Harza of Utica, which helped with early concept drawings.
The Utica technology building, part of a compromise plan worked out among county legislators, will cost $2.2 million. Schafer said the college will look to buy pre-made design specifications for the inside of the building. He said the college can save money by purchasing ‘pre-engineered’ plans for large industrial structures.
Alesia and Crewell would then be responsible for designing an exterior to fit in with the current buildings, Schafer said.
The 25,000 square foot building will be constructed at a right angle to the academic building and the college center. The classrooms and laboratories will replace rented space at Plaza East.”

1988

April 13, 1988 – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on the Utica campus for a new $2.2 million technology building. (See also coverage same period of controversy surrounding construction at Rome Campus).

1989

(February 16, 1989) - Official opening ceremonies for a new 28,000 square foot, $2 million Science & Technology Building took place on the Utica Campus on February 16th, 1989. In place of the traditional ribbon-cutting, participants cut a fiber-optic cable symbolic of MVCC’s commitment to contemporary technology education. The featured speaker was Oneida County Executive John D. Plumley. Members of the Oneida County Board of Legislators, Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, MVCC Board of Trustees Vice Chairman N. Joseph Yagey and MVCC President Michael I. Schafer also took part. The building included new technical laboratories for welding, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, metallurgy, metrology, electricity and machine tools. The building was designed by the Utica architectural firm of Alesia & Crewall. General contractor was Edgebrook Construction of New Hartford. Handling electrical work was Casatelli Electric, of Utica. The mechanical contractor was Joseph A. Giruzzi & Son of Utica.

In March, three laboratories in the building were dedicated to the memory of Walter Davis, an instructor in the Electrical Technology Department who passed away in 1988.


1990

In August, 1990, contracts were awarded to four Oneida County firms for a $5.2 million capital improvement and construction project at the MVCC Rome Campus. A new Science & Technology Building (Later named the Plumley* Science & Technology Complex) was to be constructed, and the existing College Center Building would be totally renovated. The two structures were to be connected by an atrium. A feature of the building was to be a specialized laboratory to serve students in a nationally unique Associate degree program in photonics. (*John D. Plumley served as an Oneida County official for 23 years, including service as a County legislator, Board of Legislators Chairman, Commissioner of Public Works and County Executive. He resigned as County Executive in January 1990 after serving since 1983.) (August 1990)

October 1991

On October 11th, 1991, MVCC officially dedicated the John D. Plumley Science & Technology Complex at the College’s Rome Campus. The Complex, which included both new construction and a completely renovated former College Center building, included classrooms, locker rooms, a student lounge, library and student services offices, as well as an auditorium, and laboratories for students in photonics, chemistry, biology, geology, physics, carpentry, masonry and applied arts and crafts. MVCC President Michael I. Schafer served as master of ceremonies. Speakers included Board of Trustees Chairman Anthony J. Garramone, Oneida County Executive Raymond A. Meier, Oneida County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Robert F. Julian, Oneida County Board of Legislators Minority Leader Harry A. Hertline, Chairman of the County Board of Legislators Education & Youth Committee Chairman Neil C. Angell, and remarks by Mr. Plumley. (October 1991) (See also Rome Campus)

1994

Architectural firm of Einhorn, Yaffee & Prescott amended campus master plan.

1997

In October 1997, the College Center building was renamed the Alumni College Center. In return, the Alumni Association pledged to raise $250,000 over 10 years to be used to remodel and upgrade the building.


1998

Local architectural firm, March Associates, in collaboration with Perkins Eastman of New York City, held workshops on implementation of master plan between January and March.

1999

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held April 5th, 1999, on MVCC’s Utica Campus, for Phase 1 of a $21 million construction and renovation project. Officials from Oneida County, led by County Executive Ralph Eannace, took part along with representatives from New York State, the College’s Board of Trustees and College administrators.
Phase 1 included major renovations to Payne Hall and the Academic Building. Payne Hall was to become home to MVCC’s new Welcome Center (later changed to Student Service Center), consolidating services for applicants and students in one central location. Two auditoriums, Payne Hall 101 and 120, were eliminated to make space for the new Center on the first floor of Payne Hall. Also eliminated were biology laboratories on the south side of the building and nursing and respiratory laboratories on the north side. New laboratories for each of these disciplines were created in the Academic Building, nursing and respiratory care on the first floor near the building’s lobby, biology laboratories (including the first human cadaver dissection lab) on the second floor, in the building’s eastern end.
(NOTE: Other participants in the groundbreaking ceremony included Assemblyman David Townsend, County Legislator Robert Kelly, State Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, and MVCC Trustee Chairman N. Joseph Yagey.)
Other Phase 1 highlights included an expanded Child Care Center, relocated from the Academic Building to the Gymnasium, upgraded HVAC systems campus-wide, new windows for Payne Hall, improved water distribution systems (to overcome frequent water main breaks), improved campus drainage, upgraded telecommunication and data distribution systems, increased parking with more efficient traffic flow and a new campus entrance. Payne Hall 120 auditorium was removed to make room for a student service center; the floor of the auditorium had started buckling do to geological factors.


A separate groundbreaking was planned for later in the year for Phase 2, which focused on a new 65,000-square-foot building to house classrooms, extensive computer labs, a theater, corporate training space and community-use facilities with a cost of $10.5 million.
Architects for the Master Plan Implementation were MARCH Associates of Utica, in association with Perkins Eastman of New York City. Construction Manager for the project was H.R. Beebe, Inc., of Utica. Contractors for Phase 1 include: USA Remediation Services, Inc., Sauquoit (asbestos removal), Fishbach & Moore Electric LLC, Rochester (electrical), North Country Flooring, Ilion (flooring), Edgebrook Construction Co., Inc., Marcy (general), Airtech Heating & Air Conditioning Systems, Inc., Liverpool (HVAC), Henderson-Johnson Co., Syracuse (interiors), Lincoln Pipe & Supply, Inc., Utica (plumbing), Ritter Tree & Construction Services, Inc., Utica (sitework). (From College news release, April 5, 1999)

(Aug. 16, 1999, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “MVCC renovations a campus ‘renaissance’ - $21M construction project to update college facilities – Mohawk Valley Community College looks more like a construction site than a college campus these days.
The college’s $21 million construction and renovation project is in full swing, and a myriad of workers, construction vehicles and building materials can be seen all over the Utica campus….
But school officials said what might appear to be a mess now will be well worth it when the construction, which started in April, is completed in the summer of 2001.
‘It is truly a renaissance of the entire campus… We will have state-of-the-art facilities right into the 21st century,’ President Michael Schafer said.
Nearly every part of the campus will be affected by the project:
- A Student Welcome Center will be created in Payne Hall to house student services.
- Classrooms and updated labs for biology and nursing will be added to the Academic Building, and new heating and air conditioning systems were installed.
- The Alumni College Center will include an enlarged health center and more space for student organizations.
- A main entrance with an enlarged parking lot and drop-off area are being created near Memorial Parkway and Sherman Drive.
Another phase of the project, scheduled to begin later this fall, will build a 65,000-square-foot building between the campus’ gymnasium and the Alumni College Center and house two auditoriums, a computer center and labs and faculty offices. That phase is scheduled to be completed in 2001.
Schafer said the project has remained primarily on schedule and within budget, and while there have been expected day-to-day problems, overall the project is going ‘very well.’
In the next few weeks, about 5,000 students will be on campus for the fall semester, and the largest change for them during the construction will be finding their way to classes which have been relocated, Schafer said.
Six temporary buildings dotting the campus will house 12 classrooms, and other classes have been relocated to other free spaces around campus, even the trustees’ board room….”


2000

(Jan. 27, 2000, College news release) – “County Executive, Student Leader, College President To Cut Ribbon at New MVCC Utica Campus Student Service Center – A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Wednesday, February 2nd, at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Utica Campus, to officially open a new Student Service Center in Payne Hall. Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace, Jr., MVCC President Michael I. Schafer, and a student leader will cut the ribbon during the 3:30 p.m. ceremony. …A key component in MVCC’s current three-year $21 million construction and renovation project, the new Center on the first floor of Payne Hall consolidates in one convenient location the full range of services needed by current and potential students. Included in the Center are MVCC’s Admissions, Advisement, Access & Retention, Counseling, Financial Aid, Registrar and Business Offices.
When students first enter the new facility, they find a ‘Help Desk’ staffed with College personnel who can answer many questions on the spot, or can direct students to the specific office and person within the complex who can provide the needed service.
The new Center replaces former offices dispersed in numerous locations across the campus, and increases dramatically the efficiency with which student questions and transactions can be handled.
Construction workers have been on the MVCC campus since last April. Among other activities, they have replaced sewer and water mains campus wide, updated heating and air conditioning system in most existing campus buildings, replaced windows on Payne Hall and the Alumni College Center, revamped parking lots and campus vehicle entrances, constructed a new Child Care Center at the College’s Gymnasium, as well as new biology laboratories in the Academic Building. Reconfigures and resurfaced the running track. Current work is concentrated on the first floor of the Academic Buildng, where space vacated by offices now in the new Student Services Center is being completely renovated to create Nursing curriculum labs and a variety of instructional offices. Later this year, work will begin on a new 65,000-square-foot laboratory and telecommunications building, to be located between the Gymnasium and the Alumni College Center. Completion of the project is slated for 2001….”

July 11 – broke ground for new $10,032,762 laboratory and telecommunications building, later known as Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center Building, 65,000 square feet, 300 seat theater with 120 seat balcony that could be closed off for use as a separate facility, a 100 seat conference center (BlueCross BlueShield Conference & Training Center, IT225), 11 computer labs, “smart classrooms.” Phase I of the building – computer labs, conference center, general classrooms – targeted for June 1, 2001. Phase II, theater, due before January 2002. This was the final phase in a three-year $21 million campus-wide renovation project. Taking part in the ceremony were Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace, Jr., MVCC Trustee Chairman N. Joseph Yagey, MVCC President Michael I. Schafer, Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, Assemblyman David Townsend, Robert Kelly, chairman of the Oneida County Board of Legislators Minority Leader Harry Hertline; Carole Kelly, representing Governor George Pataki; Tom Larrabee, representing Utica Mayor Timothy Julian; Student Congress President Warren Schaller, Jr. Architects for the project were MARCH Associates, Architects and Planners of Utica in consultation with Perkins Eastman Architects of New York City. Other members of the design team included Christen & Sack Consulting Engineers of Syracuse, mechanical and electrical engineering; Almy Associates of Utica, structural engineering; Appel Osborne Landscape Architects; Marshall/KMK of Chappaqua, acoustical consultants; and Charles Cosler Theater Design, New York City, auditorium design. Construction management was by H.R. Beebe, Inc., of Utica. Contractors included: Hanna Construction, Barneveld, sitework; Northeast Caisson, Inc., Akron, NY, caissons; Murnane Building Contractors, Inc., Whitesboro, concrete; Joseph Baldwin Construction Co., Inc., Fulton, NY, masonry; The Rome Iron Group, Ltd., Rome, NY, structural steel; AM Contracting, LLC, Cohoes, NY, carpentry; Apple Roofing Corporation, Syracuse, NY, roofing; Lupini Construction, New York Mills, waterproofing/sealants; Henderson Johnson Co., Inc, Syracuse, NY, interiors; Utica Glass Company, Utica, NY, glass and glazing; Syracuse Mosaic Terrazzo Corporation, Syracuse, NY, terrazzo/ceramic tile; North Country Flooring, Ilion, NY, carpet. resilient tile; Syracuse Scenery & Stage Lighting Co., Inc., Liverpool, NY, stage equipment; Patricia Electric, Inc., Syracuse, NY, auditorium sound system; Professional Furnishing & Equipment, Inc., Depew, NY, auditorium seating; Thyssen Dover Elevator, East Syracuse, NY, elevator; Lincoln Pipe & Supply, Utica, NY, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; Superior Plumbing & Heating, Utica, NY, plumbing; DC Electric Co., Utica, NY, electrical; ABJ Fire Protection Co, Inc., East Syracuse, NY, fire protection.

Also during 2000 – new nursing and respiratory care labs, cadaver lab, fine arts studios, physics labs created in Academic Building, along with new faculty-staff dining room (“Interlude”) and Bookstore in the Alumni College Center, and new ventilation and drainage in the Alumni College Center kitchen used by Sodexho food service contractor, and new child care center at the Gym.

March 4, 2002

Ceremonies were held in the Utica Campus’ Laboratory & Telecommunications Building – later renamed the Information Technology/Performing Arts/Conference Center Building to open the BlueCross BlueShield Conference & Training Center, on the building’s second floor. Speaking the the ceremony were Cynthia Hummel, president of BlueCross BlueShield of Utica-Watertown, MVCC President Michael Schafer, Donald Reese, executive director of MVCC’s Center for Community & Economic Development, which was to administer the facility, and Cathy Newell, president of Mohawk Ltd., one of the firms using MVCC employee training services. The Center included a main conference room (room 225), two 20-person conference rooms (rooms 218, 220), a 120-seat auditorium (balcony for theater, capable of being closed off for separate use), several computer labs.

(May 20, 2002, MVCC News Release) – SUNY Chancellor, County Executive Speak at Ribbon Cutting for New MVCC Building – State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King, and Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace were among the State and local dignitaries taking part in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for a new $10.5 million Information Technology Building on the Mohawk Valley Community College Utica Campus. Chancellor King joined the County Executive and MVCC President Michael I. Schafer in cutting a fiber-optic cable to officially open the new building. The fiber-optic cable was selected as symbolic of the many information technology laboratories in the new building.
During the ceremony, Chancellor King, an avid baseball fan, was also named honorary coach of MVCC’s intercollegiate baseball team.
Other attendees included the building’s architects from MARCH Associates, Utica, and Perkins Eastman, New York City, construction managers H.R. Beebe of Utica, and contractors involved in the building’s construction.
The new 65,000 square foot Information Technology Building is the culmination of a major three-year, $21 million renovation and construction project which has transformed the Mohawk Valley Community College Campus.
Included in the new structure is the BlueCross BlueShield Conference & Training Center, including an Internet-equipped large conference room, smaller breakout rooms, and available food service. The conference center is administered by MVCC’s Center for Community & Economic Development, which packages customized training programs for many of the area’s employers.
A second major feature of the new building is an oval 350-seat theater, soon to become home for MVCC’s extensive series of cultural offerings open to the community as well as for numerous events sponsored by community organizations. It features a deep 50-foot stage, comprehensive lighting, scenery and wireless acoustically engineered sound systems including assistance for hearing impaired individuals, and an orchestra pit with multiple position lift. The facility includes dressing rooms, a set shop, cloakroom and ticket booth, and a wheelchair lift to the stage.
A smaller 120-seat lecture hall with data ports at each seat is attached to the rear of the theater, connected by a removable skywall. When the skywall is removed, it functions as a balcony for the theater. When movable seating is added, the facility can seat up to 500 persons for live dramatic, musical or dance performances, films or speakers.
With the skywall in place, both facilities may be used for separate simultaneous presentations.
The new building also contains 12 new computer laboratories, including a 60-station open lab providing maximum computer access for students in all of MVCC’s 90 degree and certificate programs.”

2004

MVCC held groundbreaking ceremonies for a new 155-bed residence hall on the Utica Campus on May 11th, 2004. The three-story 41,000-square-foot building was to be located at the eastern end of the existing residence hall complex. It would feature five-person suites in a combination of double and single rooms. The new residence hall would bring total on-campus residence capacity to more than 500 students.
Participants in the 10 am ceremonies included Trustee Mary-Carmel Wolf, of Rome (chair of the Dormitory Corporation Board of Directors), Trustee John Stetson of Barneveld, board chairman; President Michael I. Schafer, and three students: Anthony Perry, president of Student Congress and a student director in the residence halls; Jean Leandre, vice president of Student Congress; and Yumi Kondo, a resident assistant.
The Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corporation of Utica oversaw construction. Stantec, a U.S. and Canadian architectural firm, worked for Gaetano on the project, as did Almy & Associates Consulting Engineers of Utica. The projected cost was $6 million. Space in the nearby Alumni College Center had to be modified to provide additional dining hall space and additional mailboxes. The project also included new linking corridors tying together two residence halls at the north side of the complex, and two residence halls at the south side of the complex. The purpose of these linking corridors was to reduce the number of entry points to the residence halls (to three), offering increased security.
(MVCC news release, May 5, 2004)

2005

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new residence hall on the Utica Campus was held on August 15, 2005. The $6 million 41,000-square-foot three-story building was designed to house 155 students in five-person suites, bringing on-campus residential capacity to 515. The building was financed through the sale of bonds by the Dormitory Corporation, and required no State or Oneida County funds.

In December 2005, Oneida County agreed to make available Building 221 (a hangar) at the Griffiss Business & Technology Park, for use in a new airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate program, and to spend $2 million on renovations.