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JCC hopes to use Whispering Pines land

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Jefferson Community College has plans for the land occupied by the Jefferson County Home for the Aged.

The college is waiting on a $40,000 feasibility study to find out whether a 7,000-seat multipurpose facility would be a good idea for the site, also known as Whispering Pines, that fronts Coffeen Street.

The proposal for the facility was developed by JCC Trustee Daniel J. Villa. Tentative plans include 35,000 feet of classroom space, a full-size ice rink that could be converted to a basketball court and a conference room with seating for more than 500 people.

If the feasibility study comes back positive, the project could be completed by late 2015 or early 2016.

JCC President Carole A. McCoy said the college would be interested in the land, now owned by the county, regardless of whether the facility is built.

“Initially, with our master plan we devised in 2008, that plan had a college building there for the higher education center,” she said. “No matter what, we’re definitely interested in that land becoming part of the college.”

Whispering Pines originally was planned to close in the third quarter of next year. However, it may be closed as early as spring if the Samaritan Summit Village off Washington Street is ready for new residents to move in by then.

The feasibility study being conducted by Paradigm Economics in Buffalo initially was expected to be mailed by the end of September.

“We don’t expect the feasibility study for several more weeks,” Mrs. McCoy said.

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