In a time of financial struggle, colleges in the North Country seem to be flourishing. One college in particular has had record enrollment five years in a row. But SUNY Canton officials say there is a down side to all this. Dormitories are limited and as our Cara Thomas tells us, they're forced to find creative ways to house students.
CANTON, N.Y. -- SUNY Canton is expanding every year. By adding new academic programs and opportunities, they've reached record enrollment five years in a row. But with this achievement comes its own set of problems, one of them is a lack of student housing options.
SUNY Canton's Director of Public Relations, Randy Sieminski, said, "It's a terrific problem to have, but one we're trying to tackle and trying to find as many spots as possible for students both on campus and off campus."
This isn't the first year SUNY Canton has faced a housing dilemma. So the town stepped in to help. They created Canton's Capital Resource Corporation, which helped fund the new $29 million residence hall on campus.
"Education is our biggest industry. And anything we can do to promote our biggest industry is where we need to be," said Town Supervisor David Button.
While the addition of the Grasse River Suites on campus last year added more than 300 beds, it's still not enough. So SUNY Canton is exploring all its options to create even more housing for its students.
"On campus, we're trying to do some things like convert lounges into potential rooms. Off campus, we're looking for landlords who'd be willing to rent to our students," said Sieminski.
So far, all five residence halls on campus are filled for the upcoming school year, holding more than 1,300 students. College officials say they will continue looking for a long-term resolution and say constructing a new residence hall is most likely in their future, as they anticipate a similar housing problem next year.
Town Supervisor David Button says off campus housing is also filling up quickly. He says local landlords and developers are working to rehabilitate old homes for college use.
Landlords with extra rooms to rent are asked to contact the College's Residence Life Office.