NCCC awarded $1.1M for science lab, fitness center upgrades

North Country Community College nursing student Adriania Fanelli of Morristown looks through a microscope in one of the college’s science labs on its Saranac Lake campus, which will be upgraded using $1.1 million from the state Dormitory Authority. (Photo provided by NCCC)

SARANAC LAKE — North Country Community College has been awarded $1.1 million to undertake key facility upgrades that will augment instruction and enhance student life at its main campus in Saranac Lake.

The funding, provided by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, was secured for the college by state Sen. Betty Little.

The money will be used to renovate the college’s science lab classrooms and to expand the fitness center in the Sparks Athletic Complex. Both projects have been identified as priorities in the college’s Saranac Lake campus master plan.

This will be the first major renovation of the science labs since they were built in 1978. The college will work with the Dormitory Authority to determine the details and scope of this project, but it could include critical science equipment upgrades, heating and ventilation system improvements, window replacement and interior remodeling.

The college recently upgraded some of the exercise equipment in its fitness center, but at just under 400 square feet, the space is not adequate to serve the number of students who would like to use it, as well as faculty, staff and community residents. In addition to a larger fitness center, the expansion could also provide more locker room and equipment storage space.

The college anticipates that the planning process for these projects will begin in early June in partnership with the Dormitory Authority. Construction could take place as early as the summer of 2019.