Community Effort

FREDONIA – Students attending the State University of New York at Fredonia have one more option available to them when they decide on living arrangements.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Wednesday morning to officially dedicate the $30 million University Village Townhouses complex on Ring Road near the athletic fields. The seven new residential buildings consist of 49 fully furnished, apartment-style units in total that can house up to 196 students.

“This has been a dream of the campus for at least all the years that I’ve been here,” Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath said to an audience of about 100 people. “I’ve been here since 2005 and we’ve talked about having space on-campus for students to experience the joy and the education they can get from independent living as part of their college experience in the convenience and safety of university housing.

“To build something like this takes a whole community – a campus community and a regional community.”

Horvath pointed out the names of the buildings and walkways are a way to celebrate Fredonia’s geographical location. Those buildings’ names include: Pioneer, Zoar, Barcelona, Holland, Niagara, Letchworth and Village Center (which encompasses a common area).

In addition, various sustainable elements have been incorporated into the complex. Officials are currently pursuing a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification for the complex, given by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Many students are already living in the townhouses, even though last school year, due to construction, they did not have a chance to view the facilities as they chose where to live this year, Horvath added.

Dr. David Herman, vice president for student affairs, said thousands of hours of planning, designing and constructing went into this project, as well as “an army of people” dedicated to the cause.

“We started planning this … when we were maxed out on enrollment and we had many students coming from other countries, so we hope this will help us get back to those levels,” he explained.

College Council Chair Frank Pagano added the townhouse complex “enhances the beautification” of the campus, while state Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown, called it “the next milestone” for Fredonia.

“In reality, Fredonia is on the move, and this is just the latest evidence of Fredonia’s continuing effort to be one of the top colleges in the nation,” Goodell said. “At one time, we had about 132 construction workers (on this project).”

Student Association President Antonio Regulier contributed to the ceremony by stating the townhouses project began moving forward in 2011, when he first arrived as a student on-campus. He also thanked college administration for putting student needs as a top priority.

Various firms were involved in the project, including the designers firm Chaintreuil Jensen Stark Architects LLP of Buffalo and Rochester, general contractor Burgio and Campofelice Inc. of Cheektowaga and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.