After about a decade of dwindling enrollment, Fulton-Montgomery Community College filed a petition to the New York Supreme Court to sell its student dormitories, News 10 reported. The college, which is part of the State University of New York system, is in negotiations with a potential buyer, a private company that would continue to allow students to live in the residence halls.
“We expect our private partner to continue to support the mission of the college by providing housing for students, but it certainly does allow us to focus on our core mission, which is providing that quality, affordable, accessible education,” Greg Truckenmiller, the college's president, told News 10.
No students are currently living in the on-campus housing, which was closed due to the pandemic. But the college, located in Johnstown in upstate New York, struggled with declining enrollment even before 2020.
The goal of the sale is to offset debts from U.S. Department of Agriculture loans issued in 2011 to fund the building of dormitories close to campus and other building projects. The dorms are currently owned by the Fulmont College Association, which is associated with the college.
Efforts to sell the student housing coincide with community colleges across the country devising creative strategies to stem steep enrollment drops amid the pandemic. On average, community college enrollment fell by 9.5 percent this spring, according to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data. Enrollment at Fulton-Montgomery Community College fell about 15 percent in the fall semester, The Daily Gazette reported.