Holyoke Community College will receive more than $20 million over the next few years to renovate its Campus Center.
Massachuetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced a plan Wednesday to spend $1.8 billion on capital improvement projects throughout the state. HCC's share will be $300,000 in the current fiscal year, FY 2014, and an additional $20 million over the next few years.
"We are most appreciative of this commitment by the state," said HCC President William F. Messner Thursday in a message to the HCC community, "as it will address a critical need and be a significant step in alleviating deferred maintenance issues on our campus."
The $300,000 will be used for planning with the $20 million to be spent on renovations and improvements.
The main priority for the Campus Center project is to waterproof the building, said Bill Fogarty, vice president of Administration and Finance.
The Campus Center, or G building, was the last of the original campus buildings to be constructed after HCC moved to Homestead Avenue, opening in 1981. The third floor was renovated in 2009 and turned into a center for Electronic Media Arts.
The building has long been plagued by leaks, and makeshift internal drainage systems constructed from aluminum house gutters, garden hoses and buckets are evident throughout the building.
"There is a serious water infiltration issue that needs to be addressed," he said. "We have plastic bags over expensive equipment over there. It's ridiculous."
Beyond the waterproofing, administrators are considering a number of different options for renovations, including possible expansion. One idea is to move the Campus Bookstore from the first floor up to the second floor and Student Activities over from the Donahue building to be closer to the food court.
Photos: (Left) Students amble down the walkway from the HCC Campus Center. (Right) Buckets in a Campus Center hallway are evidence of water leaks.