FMCC president reports to legislature on two campus projects

A new conference center and a 9/11 memorial are among the projects planned for Fulton-Montgomery Community College, and both will be built with no county dollars.

FMCC President Dustin Swanger addressed the Budget and Finance Committee of the Montgomery County Legislature on Tuesday and talked about both projects. He said the two would cost about $2.6 million.

“Allen House is a vision we [first] had five years ago,” Swanger said. “We do not have a conference center. We have had many requests to have meetings on campus, and we’ve done it in the Student Union.”

That location is noisy and busy, which is not a great setting for meetings, Swanger said. A conference center will provide the proper atmosphere for important meetings, he said.

In addition to the proposed conference center, Swanger also described the 9/11 memorial proposed for the campus. According to a design by art professor Joel Chapin, the memorial includes a twisted 32-foot-high communication antenna from one of the Twin Towers as well as two concrete cylinders representing the towers. Once the antenna is mounted on a base, it will cast a shadow on the two concrete cylinders each day at the exact time of the attacks, Swanger said.

Swanger said F-MCC student Louis Pabon, a construction worker whose last job was at Ground Zero in New York City, was able to get the antenna for the college.

The antenna will be one of five stations at the memorial, Swanger said. The others will depict the Twin Towers themselves, the airplanes that hit the towers, the rubble from the wreckage and the Freedom Tower, he said. The memorial is scheduled to be ready in time for a ceremony this coming Sept. 11, he said.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.