The Times
  • 2 projects totaling $80,000 could begin on HCCC's campus

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  • Two projects totaling $80,000 are being planned at Herkimer County Community College facilities.
    The Herkimer County Legislature was expected to vote on two resolutions Wednesday:
    • Approving nature trail renovations due to the floods in late June, which washed away one bridge and damaged several others. The anticipated cost is $30,000, which will be paid for by a $10,000 Creating Health Places grant from Herkimer County HealthNet. $10,000 from the Herkimer County College Foundation and $10,000 from the state's community college capital project funding.
    • Approve renovations to Lecture Hall 210 in Johnson Hall to be turned into an Entrepreneur Center for Small Business Development. The state will supply $25,000 with the college foundation supplying another $25,000.
    Ron Carvin, a biology professor at the college and main caretaker of the nature trail, said Fern Bridge — at the beginning of the trail — was washed away during the floods that hit the area earlier this year.
    “This is the bridge that sustained the most damage,” he said, motioning to remnants of a bridge several feet downstream. “The water must have been just phenomenal.”
    The 0.8-mile trail has four bridges that cross over streams that eventually feed into Bellinger Brook — a waterway situated in the village that has caused the area problems over the years.
    Carvin said people have been using the trail at their own risk while plans are drawn up to do the repairs.
    “This is really popular for cross country skiers,” he said. “Lots of people come up here and jog.”
    Meanwhile, on the main thoroughfare of the college’s campus, Hank Testa, associate dean of academic affairs, said the lecture hall will be turned into a business lab-style room complete with televisions, a stock ticker and laptop computers.
    Testa said the college has always been known for its business classes — it’s one of the few that offers a small business management degree — which is a reason for the center.
    He said it will provide an intimate setting for senior level classes.
    “The best we have is an auditorium and that doesn’t work,” he said in regard to having guest speakers. “It’s not intimate.”
    Dean of Academic Affairs Michael Orilo said that from creation of the center could come new courses and curriculum.
    “You never know what it will grow into,” he said. “As students enroll in certain areas and enrollment increases, that’s how we can add.”
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