Normal activity resumes at Clark City Center this semester

The Clark City Center is located on 177 Genesee St. in Utica, NY.

Alexandria Leland

The Clark City Center is located on 177 Genesee St. in Utica, NY.

Mickale Thompson, Special Assignments Reporter

Once the pandemic began, activity at the downtown business campus slowed down. However, this academic year has brought more normalcy and life back to the Brvenik Center, housed in the Clark City Center.

The business center provides students with a specialized location for business classes and also offers access to local businesses. Located in downtown Utica, it is the home of business students and with the arrival of the new academic semester, the Clark City Center is buzzing with students and faculty.

According to Assistant Professor and Director of Risk Management and Insurance Stephanie Nesbitt, the downtown campus is a tremendous resource for the college. Nesbitt is also Dean of the School of Business and Justice Studies.

“While college campuses are vibrant academic communities, at times, they are isolated or separated from the communities they serve,” Nesbitt said. “Clark City Center breaks down those barriers and puts our students and faculty members in direct contact with community members and businesses here in the Mohawk Valley. And, the downtown community is growing.”

New businesses are joining the community. The new regional health center is two blocks from Clark City Center. The new Nexus Center, slated to be a sports recreation facility on Whitesboro Street, and the Adirondack Bank Center can be seen from the 5th floor of the Clark City Center. 

“This provides a wealth of opportunities for our students to build their networks and participate in active and experiential learning opportunities,” Nesbitt said. 

According to Nesbitt, the Nexus Center will be completed in 2022. Sport Management students will take at least one class during each year of their program at the Nexus Center and within the next year, the Northeast Cybersecurity Forensic Center will relocate to Clark City Center.

Clark City Center’s location gives business students the opportunity to make connections with establishments in the downtown area that can possibly benefit them in the future.

Often, students are interested in doing internships at nearby businesses that are within walking distance, Success Coach Christina Emmanuele said.

Students play a role in creating a culture and establishing a community not only at the business center but in the surrounding area as well. Working with students at the business center has been a unique experience for Emmanuele.

“Since our other success coaches are at the main campus, but again it works perfectly to be down here with the rest of our UC business students and faculty,” Emmanuele said. “Since all business students will almost always have at least one class per semester at CCC, being down here ensures that I am accessible to the students whether you’re a freshman or a senior.”

Some students enjoy taking classes at the Clark City Center because of the atmosphere it provides.

“I love the Clark City Center,” sophomore business management major Angela Hawthorne said. “It’s a nice change in scenery from the main campus, and I like the setup of the classrooms as well as the seating area we have on the first floor with TVs.”

In the past, the shuttle buses that transported students to the downtown campus caused problems at times as they would arrive late and create confusion for students.

“The shuttle has been pretty reliable going to the business center, but can be busy on Mondays and Fridays,” Hawthorne said. “I usually ride with a teammate to classes most of the time.” 

According to Nesbitt, the building is better equipped to accommodate events. Last year, renovations brought an additional classroom online to accommodate students.

For some, the high-tech, business-forward environment motivates students and excites them to work harder.

“The Clark City Center really gives a ‘big city’ professional feel right here in our small downtown community,” Emmanuele said. “When you first walk into our lobby, you will see all of our running LED signs with stock exchange information and other important business news. You will also get to peek into the glass windows of one of our many tech-enhanced classrooms.”