CCE building (copy)

The Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Auburn. A Cayuga County Legislature committee Tuesday tentatively the Cayuga Community College capital project plan that includes the property.

AUBURN — A Cayuga County legislative committee Tuesday tentatively acknowledged a capital project plan from Cayuga Community College, a necessary step before the plan can be submitted as a budget request to the state.

CCC President Brian Durant said the project is an important part of the school's initiatives and goals in the future.

"We certainly appreciate the support of the Ways and Means Committee," Durant said.

In order to receive state funding for the plan, the college must submit it to the State University of New York administration with the hope that it is included and ultimately approved in the system's funding request from the 2019 state government.

Before that can be done, the plan first needs the county Legislature's approval, although the specific resolution approved Tuesday does not commit the college or county to any specific projects.

Now that the Ways and Means committee approved the resolution, it proceeds to the full Legislature. The Legislature's monthly meeting for December will be held Thursday, Dec. 14, instead of its usual later date in observance of the Christmas holiday.

Committee Chair Joseph Bennett, R-Auburn, said he felt the plan had substance and looked forward to seeing if the full Legislature approves it.

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"It would be good for the college and the community," Bennett said, "if the state goes along with it."

The largest portion of the plan is the $5 million for site and infrastructure improvements to what is currently the Cornell Cooperative Extension building on Grant Avenue in Auburn.

CCE donated the property to the college, which plans to convert it into a collaborative workforce development center, in exchange for a no-cost lease for offices.

At CCC's board of trustees meeting last week, Durant said the expected value of the property, $2.4 million, would ideally be matched by state funds if the plan is approved. Durant said Tuesday the college is exploring other resources for funding the remainder.

For the acquisition and renovation of a facility to expand the college's childcare program, CCC is request $500,000 from the state to match the amount committed by the Faculty Student Association.

Similarly, the college is requesting $100,000 to match an equal amount from the Cayuga County Community College Foundation to support campus infrastructure improvements, according to the resolution.

The Legislature will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Cayuga County Office Building at 160 Genesee St., Auburn.

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Staff writer Ryan Franklin can be reached at (315) 282-2252 or ryan.franklin@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @RyanNYFranklin

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