Holyoke Community College, working through the state Division of Asset Management (DCAM), has completed the purchase of a photography studio on Jarvis Avenue that will be the future home of its nursing and radiologic technology programs.
HCC was notified Wednesday, Oct. 31, that the purchase and sale agreement for 404 Jarvis Ave. had been signed and recorded. The closing includes $7 million in bonds that will finance the purchase and renovation of the 22,000-square-foot building, now the home of the Grynn & Barrett photography studio. The sale price of the property was $1.925 million.
HCC plans to turn the building into a high-tech health science center for its nursing and radiologic technology programs.
"We're delighted we've been able to acquire this very attractive piece of property, which will be a major addition to the college campus," said HCC President William Messner. "It will provide us with a first-class education facility, which will be a significant benefit to our health-care students."
The renovations will be supplemented by grants and fundraising through the HCC Foundation's upcoming "Building Healthy Communities" campaign. The eventual move will open up space in HCC's Marieb building, which will then undergo its own renovation of classroom and laboratory space.
The photography studio will continue to occupy the facility as a tenant until Feb. 14, 2013, allowing the college and DCAM access for planning, design and fundraising activities.
The purchase has been nearly a year in the making and required special legislation to approve the borrowing, the signature of the governor, MassDevelopment to issue bonds on HCC's behalf, and approval of the HCC Board of Trustees and Board of Higher Education. The bonds are being privately held by PeoplesBank and Chicopee Savings Bank, which are providing the financing.
"Equipping the Commonwealth's community colleges with state-of-the-art facilities for their science and technology students will help prepare them for the jobs of the future," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "MassDevelopment is pleased to issue these bonds on behalf of Holyoke Community College, supporting both this institution and a gateway city with which we are working on a number of important initiatives."
"It's been a long process," said Bill Fogarty, vice president of Administration and Finance. "We have a lot of people to thank for moving this through, especially Senator Mike Knapik, who really spearheaded the special legislation."
Photos: (Left) The Grynn & Barrett photography studios at 404 Jarvis Ave. (Right) A radiologic technology class at HCC.