With its population nearly doubling in the last two decades, Wilton continues to transform its resources to meet the diverse needs of its new community, and now, has an educational environment that suits it.
“This is a real upgrade from the old facility,” said Michael Prutsman, the director of the Wilton Center. “Before, students always had to go to Queensbury to take [lab and graphic design] classes and their bread-and-butter courses. Now, they can take them here.”
The new 32,000-square-foot campus features a state-of-the-art graphic design Mac lab, an interdisciplinary biology and chemistry lab, a 72-seat lecture hall and 15 technology-equipped classrooms. Student lounge areas, computer stations and faculty offices are just some of the things the new site has to offer.
“The old building was just two hallways,” said Prutsman. “Here we have 15 classrooms - that’s five more than we had before, and the building was constructed for additional expansion. Last year we had 616 students, this year - 716.”
With the site’s physical additions, the school is now able to offer a considerable number of additional courses. Previously unavailable classes in graphic design and photography are now offered, and lab courses in chemistry and biology have also been made possible with the addition of a high-tech science lab. Prutsman says that even though there are a lot of new educational opportunities at the campus, it’s the student life that is paramount.
“Customer service is our number-one focus around here,” said Prutsman. “The Queensbury campus closes at 4 p.m.; here, we are open until 10. Students can get academic advisement, there’s a tutoring center - they have the capacity to do everything on-site.” The campus’ location on Route 9, sandwiched between exits 15 and 16 on the Northway, is in the middle of it all and an ideal spot for local students.
“We looked at other areas, but when it came down to it, we’ve been here since 1994, we wanted to move quickly, and this is a prominent location right now on Route 9. This corridor is continuing to grow, and Wilton is continuing to grow.”
The center hopes to reach out to more than just its enrolled students. Its 72-seat lecture hall has already been booked by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce for presentations, and the school has plans to use the room for community movie nights.
“We have signed a 25-year lease,” said Prutsman. “We plan on being here for a while.”
For more information on the Wilton Campus, its upcoming events and course offerings, visit www.sunyacc.edu/academics/wilton.