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College is one step closer to Kodak building

Rochester, N.Y. For years Monroe Community College has been looking for a new location for its downtown branch citing safety concerns and space at the Sibley Building on Main Street.

Its a $72 million development project that some questioned, but yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a budget that would allow MCC to spend money that was previously allocated to the school for development at other potential sites that are no longer moving forward.

The current plan is for the MCC downtown branch to relocate from the Sibley building on East Main Street, to a couple of older buildings no longer occupied by Kodak located near the corner of State Street and Morrie Silver Way.

The move has been the source of much debate stretching back to 2011.
Former Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards opposed the move because of the potential coast of the project, but current Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced her support for the project following Gov. Cuomos announcement.

I am pleased to see the effort to relocate Monroe Community Colleges downtown campus coming together, Warren said. With Gov. Cuomos budged amendment the college can look forward to state funding as it takes this exciting new step.

According to MCC, the move is the result of a 480% increase in attendance for the downtown branch in the past 16 years.

MCC says the Kodak complex is a perfect fit because it will allow the MCC downtown branch to keep growing, while keeping a footprint in Downtown Rochester, but not everyone agrees with that.

Its still downtown but its not Main Street, said Brian McMahon, who lives in Downtown Rochester. Its not right in the business district, and I just hope theyre able to lease the openings in the Sibley building.

McMahon said hes not opposed to MCC moving the downtown branch and understands the reasons, but hes still worried about it possibly affecting businesses in the area for the worse.

I dont know, McMahon added. In the long run I know its a struggle to keep businesses downtown.

Monroe County Republican Majority Leader Steve Tucciarello is supportive of MCC plan, and Cuomos move to push it forward.

Its about valuing education, he said. MCC is one of the best community colleges in the country and we want to keep that going.

MCC hopes to start classes at the new buildings by 2016.

 
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