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JCC dorms to open weeks ahead of schedule; new student enrollment increased for fall 2014

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WATERTOWN — Construction of the Jefferson Community College dormitories could be completed weeks ahead of schedule, and the dorms have led to an increase in new student enrollment at the college for the fall.

The enrollment for new students is higher than it has been in the past three years. JCC Vice President Betsy D. Penrose said the increase is attributed largely to the dorms.

Military enrollment is consistent with last year’s numbers, she said.

“The construction of the residence halls is going extremely well and we’re going to be in there ahead of schedule,” Ms. Penrose said at the monthly JCC board of trustees meeting Wednesday.

She said furniture could be moved into the dormitories in mid-July, weeks earlier than the projected move-in date of Aug. 10. Ms. Penrose said landscaping of the grounds around the dorms has begun and the interior remains under construction.

About 50 percent of the 294 available beds have been secured by students who provided a deposit; 147 students have paid deposits, and there are still 276 active applications for the remaining beds, she said.

In anticipation of round-the-clock student presence, there will be increased security on campus. Additional security cameras — 17 indoors and 24 outdoors — will be on the campus when students return in the fall.

“People at other college campuses said they have seen significant savings from property damage by just having cameras on their campus,” said Wesley L. Hissong, JCC’s director of campus safety and security. He said cameras will be everywhere except classrooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.

The campus also has added two emergency blue phones on campus and upgraded four phones.

The residence halls will have a security person at the main entrance to the dorms from 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 24 hours on the weekends.

Residence hall directors and other security personnel will go through up to 80 hours of training this summer for drug identification, suicide prevention, safe talk, mental health and first aid, victims assistance training, fire safety and more, Mr. Hissong said.

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