As part of a series of get-acquainted events for state and local officials, the Fulton campus of Cayuga Community College hosted a summer 2010 tour and orientation for the Oswego County Legislature.
Among the 12 legislators who attended the June 30 event, familiarity with the college and its Fulton operations varied. For some, it was the first visit to the campus, although several mentioned friends and family who had studied there. Terry Wilbur of Hannibal, a 2009 Cayuga graduate, was in familiar territory, and Jake Mulcahey of Oswego and James Karasek of Fulton have both taken courses at the Fulton campus.
Other attendees included Barry Leemann, chairman, and fellow legislators Barbara Brown, Margaret Kastler, Louella LeClair, Linda Lockwood, James Oldenburg, Milferd Potter, Ronald Sakonyi and Amy Tresidder, along with clerk of the Legislature Ted Jerrett.
College president Daniel Larson presented an orientation to Cayuga's three decades of activity in Oswego County, beginning with nursing courses offered in 1979 at the Mexico BOCES. In 1994, liberal arts classes became available in rented classrooms in downtown Fulton. The current campus - 50,000 square feet of former retail space in the Fulton Commons mall, just west of downtown on Route 3 - opened in 2001 with 500 students. Today, 12 associate degree programs can be completed there, and coursework can be taken for 10 others.
A tour of the facility illustrated the space constraints confronting the campus, with enrollment more than doubled since 2001 and rising steadily. Discussing potential relocation sites, legislators expressed support for college-owned space that could be developed cost-effectively for permanent use.
Among the goals for a new campus, noted Larson, are additional classrooms and laboratories, offices for faculty and staff, space for student activities and counseling, conference rooms, an auditorium, food service, athletic facilities and, possibly, student housing.
Larson thanked the group for their visit and their record of support for community college access in Oswego County. He noted that the college plans to invite the legislators to visit annually, to foster continuing awareness of the opportunities and challenges affecting higher education for county residents.
For the near term, says Larson, "We look to the leadership of Chairman Barry Leemann and the Oswego County Legislature to support our goal of relocating to a site that will be ideal for the long-term needs of Oswego County."