While Erie County and its community college have decided where to build a new academic building, it’s still going to take a few years before the doors are open.
The $30 million building planned for the ECC North Campus in Amherst is scheduled to open in January 2017, according to a tentative calendar for construction.
“This is a very cautious calendar because we want to make sure we do everything right,” said William D. Reuter, the college’s chief administrative and financial officer. “There’s a lot of work before the shovel is in the ground.”
County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and ECC President Jack F. Quinn Jr. announced last month that – after a few years of debate – a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building will be constructed on the North Campus, based on a recommendation from an academic consultant.
Thursday, Reuter and Thomas Dearing, the county’s deputy director of planning and economic development, presented the college’s board of trustees a “memorandum of understanding,” which details the costs and preliminary timeline for the project.
The county needs to hire an architect, as well as a project manager and a consultant to conduct an environmental review, Dearing said. Building design would be completed by July 2015.
Any building project like this would take about two years, Dearing said, but a government project that involves State Environmental Quality Review adds some time to the process. “We will try to shorten it the best we can,” he said.
The new building is slated for a vacant parcel along Youngs Road, which would create a more traditional campus quad to serve as the heart of the North Campus.
Half the funding for the project is coming from the state, the rest from the county and college.
ECC trustee Raymond F. Gallagher asked whether the college would be on the hook if there were cost overruns on the project, but Reuter said hiring a project manager should avoid that.
The memorandum of understanding, which also outlines the obligations of the college and the county, was agreed upon by the board Thursday. It now heads to the county for its approval.