By LEVI PASCHER
For The Recorder
JOHNSTOWN -- Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger updated the board of trustees last Thursday regarding the more than $5 million in capital projects planned for 2015.
He said the $1 million in "Critical Maintenance Projects" are the only plans that will require approval from both Fulton and Montgomery counties. The college will ask each of the counties to provide $250,000 for the projects.
Two of the plans within the critical maintenance projects are related to improving campus safety.
Swanger said the college wants to update its door-locking system throughout the campus. The campus currently has a problem because many of the classroom doors can't be locked from the inside during an emergency and those responding to an emergency might need a master key, which doesn't exist.
The college is planning to address the issue by establishing a master key and installing the classrooms with push lock options on the inside of the door, Swanger said.
He also said lighting on the quad would be updated for safety on campus at night. He said the original lighting was designed for aesthetics rather than for the practical safety concerns of today.
"You don't need mood lighting any more, you need bright lighting," Swanger said. "We are looking at changing that out."
Another part of the project is developing signs to be placed throughout the campus to direct those not familiar with the college where certain buildings or venues are located.
The campus currently has a building directory along the front entrance off Route 67.
However, Swanger said, when students or visitors come to the campus for the first time they find it difficult to navigate.
The college plans to have about 75 signs replaced or installed across the campus as part of the project.
F-MCC has separate plans for about $2.33 million in college union upgrades, including bathrooms, student space and the college bookstore.
The college plans to change the location and redesign the college bookstore.
The bookstore is in the basement of the college union. The plan calls for moving the bookstore to the larger space now used as a board meeting room within the union.
Swanger said the larger bookstore would have more retail space for general supplies, FM memorabilia, shelves on wheels for the short season when students purchase class materials.
He said the present bookstore would become meeting space for the various clubs and activities on campus.
The college also has a $1.87 million upgrade for the wastewater treatment facility located on campus. Swanger said the present system is used for the campus facilities but needs both upgrades and increased capacity so it can handle the college's future developments such as the Global Village.
Swanger said both the union and wastewater projects would be covered by the Fulmont College Association and are separate from the projects for which the college is seeking county support.
He said the critical maintenance project has been introduced at the committee level in Fulton County and he is in the process of having the plans introduced to the Montgomery County Legislature.