A project years in the making is one step closer to fruition.  At a recent meeting, the Finger Lakes Community College Projects Committee approved a design for the college’s new viticulture center at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park on Pre-Emption Road in Geneva, adjacent to Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.  Construction is expected to begin in January with the center slated to open in August of 2014.  The center will include a winery, wine making lab, grape-crushing pad, rooms for storing and aging wine, classroom space and a teaching vineyard.  It will be used by students in the college’s wine technology and viticulture program and is expected to bolster the Finger Lakes’ reputation as a world-class wine region. Prior to the start of construction on the Vit Center, the Park will be extending its water and sewer lines to ensure proper infrastructure for each site on the Park campus.

The FLCC Projects Committee, an arm of the county Board of Supervisors, includes supervisors, members of the college’s board of trustees and community residents.  County Administrator John Garvey said the idea was born years ago.  Geneva residents like Harry Burt, a former committee member, pushed for it for this area.

The structure will be 8,150 square fee and is designed to take advantage of the natural light in the winery area as well as other energy efficient measures.  Its cost is estimated at $3.65 million with $3.25 million coming from NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the rest from the FLCC Foundation and State University of NY system.

County officials noted  that this is a departure from the way most community colleges projects are funded.  It is usually a  50-50 split between college and state.  But in this particular situation, Senator Michael Nozzolio, R-54 of Fayette and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-131 of Canandaigua were instrumental in securing state funding to cover the majority of the cost.  We are very grateful to our leaders for recognizing the value of this center for this region and securing funding to ensure its construction on the campus of the Technology Farm.