Following a public hearing on the $20 million project, Legislator Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, defended the project and developers saying, "This is not a county project. This cannot be a county project and be funded as it is."
He continued, "The developers, the college and the foundation have made a sincere effort to be energy efficient with this building."
Legislator Joseph Suhrada, R-Rotterdam, voted in favor of the project, but he said, "There is no half hazard standard when it comes to LEED." He called the project "environmentally friendly," but said it will not meet LEED certification and that no matter how one looks at the project, the Legislature is not upholding its commitment to construct LEED-certified buildings.
"To sit here and try to make excuses is something I will not do," Suhrada, said.
Legislator Vincent DiCerbo, D- Schenectady, said, "I don't think anyone was led down a primrose path," in response to Suhrada's comments.
He said the opportunities for the college's growth far outweigh the consequences of not building to LEED standards.
DiCerbo said when the county takes over the building in 30 years, there could be a whole new set of environmental standards and LEED would mean very little.
Minority Leader Robert Farley, R-Glenville, said "We are turning a page in the history of our community college."
He said while he has some reservations about the environmental impact of the building it is necessary to increase out of area students to the college.
"In order for programs to have national draw, we have to have student housing," Farley said, acknowledging that the project is not perfect.
The county Legislature voted unanimously, Tuesday, Aug. 12, to create a local development corporation to handle the development of the 105,000-square-foot dormitory, which could house 313 students as early as September 2009. College officials said they hope to hold a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 24.