It's the first visible sign of progress. Trees, shrubs, and everything else is being cleared as Jefferson Community College prepares for a big addition to campus -- a long-awaited dormitory.
"We took some trees down," said JCC President Carole McCoy, "and that's in preparation of being able to actually get a bulldozer over there."
Before the college can start bringing out the bulldozers and shovels, there are still some lingering details that need to be finalized, like financing to complete the $20 million project.
The four-story building -- to come fully equipped with 290 beds -- also needs the go-ahead from the county legislature.
"There's just a lot of pieces, and some of them can go along parallel and some of them you have to wait for this one before you can do the next one," McCoy said.
Another piece to the puzzle is transferring ownership of the land where the dormitory will be.
Currently, Jefferson County owns the space between Rand Drive and Cannoneer Loop, but it's in the process of being turned over to the college's Faculty-Student Association (FSA).
"That land can pass through over to the FSA through some legal processes and will become part of the residence halls," said Jack Donato, FSA's president.
College officials say they expect everything will be smoothed out in a few weeks. Then construction will begin.
They hope to have the project finished and doors open by fall of 2014.
Saturday, March 8, 2014, Watertown, NY
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