After years of research and consideration, the MCC Board of Trustees unanimously recommended that our Damon City Campus move to properties at State Street and Morrie Silver Way in downtown Rochester. On the road to making this important decision, we approached every proposal, every meeting, and every piece of paper with the following goals in mind.
MCC's downtown campus provides a much-needed option for students who are serious about educational achievement and prefer to attend classes in the city. These students deserve an educational experience that equals that of their peers at our Brighton Campus and offers the best possible opportunities for success.
Room to Grow
Enrollment at our Damon City Campus is nearly 3,000 students, an increase of more than 480% in the last 16 years. An expanded facility — one that we can own and maintain — offers better future educational, parking and safety features for our students and employees.
Throughout the search process, MCC has been very aware of its obligation and responsibility to Monroe County and New York State taxpayers. Independent engineering cost analysis shows that remaining at Sibley would cost $10 million more than moving to the State Street location – even using the Winn Companies' own presentation and factoring in tax credits. In addition, the operational cost of the Kodak site is less than that at Sibley, meaning lower costs for the entire life of this campus.
True Campus Ownership
The recommended location at State Street and Morrie Silver Way would allow MCC to own and customize its downtown campus much earlier in the process. The discussed historic tax credits that could accrue to the Winn Companies at the Sibley site can be obtained only if MCC leases the space for an additional 5 years after all renovations to the building have been completed -- in reality, an extension of our lease for at least 8 years. At that point, MCC would need to begin the entire process of gaining support for a campus all over again—since today’s county legislature cannot obligate a future legislature to a purchase eight years from now. To put it plainly, the Sibley Building option is not an ownership option, it is a lease.
MCC is a primary educator for the Western New York region. The most important economic benefit of our college, including our downtown campus, is the development of students into a strong workforce. The State Street site has the greatest potential to become a learning environment where MCC students can succeed, and to allow MCC to move the economic futures of our students, our city, our county, and our entire region forward.
(updated August 2013)
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