BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It's a transformation more than eight years in the making.
Back in 2012, SUNY Broome announced plans to convert the former Carnegie Library downtown into a brand-new Culinary Arts Center.
But funding issues and changes to tax codes led to a number of roadblocks in the $20 million project.
"As with any capital construction project, it takes us a while to piece together the funding. It always takes at least a couple of years and then the whole situation around changing the state and federal tax code added another year and a half to the process," said SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm.
Today, construction is said to be 40% complete.
The new center will offer degrees in Restaurant, Events, Lodging and Casino Management.
As large local companies like Maines and Willow Run continue to grow, staff at Broome say there's a growing demand for these students.
"They all want it. I mean they're almost clamoring for it. So the excitement is building and it's a hot item and I think it's a great community asset," said Rey Wojdat, Culinary Events Center Assistant to Dean.
For SUNY Broome, this will be the first time the college has had any sort of presence downtown in more than 50 years.
"It's going to be a whole new dynamic for us, and a whole new dynamic for the community to have a regular campus presence downtown, albeit now a full campus, but a routine presence day to day and students coming and going every day is getting back to our roots," said Drumm.
While there is no concrete number, President Kevin Drumm says the interest in the program is at an all-time high.
Many expect the school to attract students from across the region.
"I anticipate that we are going to be housing culinary arts and events students that are going to be close to that facility, perhaps in walking distance. I anticipate that it will become a destination area," said Wojdat.
Classes are set to begin in January of 2020.
Proposed program delivery, at the Culinary and Event Center facility, is pending approval by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.