Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives
Dan Hust | Democrat

THOUGH THE "STUDENT housing” lettering remains, the Edgewood apartment complex near the entrance to Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake is no longer open to students, removing the last of the larger-sized off-campus dormitories.

SCCC wants more students, but has no place to put them

By Dan Hust
LOCH SHELDRAKE — March 25, 2008 — When it comes to private housing for Sullivan County Community College (SCCC), President Mamie Howard Golladay is succinct about how much is offered:
“Very little.”
And now, thanks to the recent closing of Edgewood Park Student Residence Halls in Loch Sheldrake, only a handful of students will be able to find privately rented accommodations within walking distance of SCCC.
Though the college received numerous complaints about living conditions at Edgewood, the loss of its 50 beds is keenly felt, said Golladay.
“It’s a major issue,” she said on Thursday, a week after telling county legislators the same thing.
Approximately one-third of SCCC’s 1,611 students come from outside the county, and many of them hail from New York City, where commuting to Loch Sheldrake is not a viable option.
While the Lazarus I. Levine Hall next door to the campus offers rooms for 335 students, full-time freshmen get first dibs – and usually take it.
Contrary to popular conception, SCCC does not own those dorms, as state law prohibits community colleges from creating and operating on-campus dormitories.
A separate non-profit Dormitory Corporation contracts with a management firm to maintain the facilities, and according to Golladay, the corporation is not interested in taking on another set of dorms.
But without a private individual or group – or a different public entity, like the county or the Town of Fallsburg – to develop a substantial amount of housing, the college’s hands are tied.
“It’s a real dilemma for us,” acknowledged Golladay, noting that the college can’t even offer incentives for people to build more housing.
And it could be affecting enrollment, as the college lost 87 out-of-county students between the Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 semesters.
That’s also when Edgewood closed its doors, a mysterious move made by owner Barry Tabak, who could not be reached for comment.
Fallsburg Code Enforcement Officer Allen Frishman acknowledged that Edgewood had several code violations that landed them in court with the township, but none of those violations led to the closure.
“It was kind of a surprise to us, too,” he remarked.
Frishman speculated that Tabak found the summer religious crowd easier to handle than the students, whom Golladay admitted could be destructive at times.
That’s likely one of the reasons developers and public officials are reluctant to build student housing – even housing that caters to a year-round crowd.
“They are so afraid of students who would tear stuff up,” she explained.
But Golladay’s worried that even more students will not return in the fall, especially sophomores who might be bumped out of Levine Hall.
So she’s planning to talk to County Manager David Fanslau to generate ideas to improve students’ living prospects.
“As long as we have housing as a major issue, we cannot begin to look at the other issues” related to students choosing not to return, she said.

top of page  |  home  |  archives