A century later, new life for old FSC power plant

Coming soon: Farmingdale State College's refurbished Conklin Hall is set to make its grand re-opening Sept. 5.

More than a century since it was built and years since it’s been anything more than a memory, a vintage Farmingdale State College structure is about to be reborn.

College officials will mark the completion of a $12 million renovation of Conklin Hall, a circa-1914 building that housed the college’s original heating plant, with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 5. The refurbished Conklin Hall will serve as the new home of the FSC student government, the campus radio station and other student clubs and organizations.

Noting a “new chapter for this historic and beloved campus landmark,” Farmingdale State College President John Nader said the reimagined Conklin Hall – which originally cost $190,000 to build, fairly hefty in pre-Word War I dollars – would provide “a spacious and attractive new home for our student organizations.”

“Just like Farmingdale, Conklin Hall has endured and been transformed to meet the changing needs of an increasingly engaged student body,” Nader said Tuesday.

Back in the day: Conklin Hall originally served as Farmingdale State’s heating plant.

Make the transformed again. Since opening as a power plant 103 years ago, Conklin Hall has alternately served as a men’s dormitory, a dairy test laboratory and a home for art, design and business programs. It once housed the college’s Industrial Technical Division and in the 1960s become home to various FSC administrative offices.

The century-old building has also sheltered the Evening College Student Association and the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Incubator, among other FSC programs.

In addition to the student government and Ram Nation Radio, the college’s yearbook and student newspaper staffs will be housed in the two-story, 19,700-square-foot hall, which has been redesigned to include a high-tech media lounge, a game room and two outdoor patios.

Using the actual bricks from the original 1914 structure, Miller Place-based Stalco Construction performed the renovation work based on designs by BRB Architects. Farmingdale State last used the New York City architecture firm to design the college’s renovated Nold Athletic Complex in 2014.