Ground broken on new OCC arena/community center

An artist's rendering of the new SRC Arena

A ceremony was help Wednesday morning to break ground on a new athletic arena on the campus of Onondaga Community College.

The new facility, to be called the SRC Arena, will be used for OCC athletic teams as well as local high school contests and community events. The 60,000 square foot building will seat up to 6,500 spectators and include six-lane track, three configurable basketball/volleyball/tennis courts, and a 5,000 square-foot fitness center. The fitness center, along with a new swimming pool on the OCC campus, will be operated to benefit students, employees and the greater community by the YMCA of Greater Syracuse as part of the YMCA at Onondaga Community College that was announced on May 12.

The addition of SRC Arena to Onondaga Community College will mark yet another unprecedented milestone in the nearly 50-year history of the college, which now serves more than 12,000 students, including nearly 600 residential students, and more than 90,000 campus visitors annually, said OCC President Debbie Sydow.

OCC competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association. In the past five years, Onondaga athletic teams have captured six NJCAA national championships " 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 in Men TMs Lacrosse, an unprecedented dual national championship with Men TMs and Women TMs Lacrosse in 2009, and Men TMs Tennis in 2008. The school says the SRC Arena will serve the College TMs 15 competitive athletic teams, the intramurals sports program, and will also host community and college events, including the annual Onondaga Community College Commencement ceremony and Section III athletic events.

Having access to this facility which is located right in the heart of all 109 school districts within the Section, will not only provide a first class competition venue for our student athletes but will also help our schools save on their travel cost to outlying collegiate venues, said John Rathbun, executive director for Section III Athletics.

SRC Arena is named for SRC, a research and development organization, which paid $1 million for the naming rights. The arena TMs construction will cost approximately $12.4 million, and will be funded by a combination of the state, Onondaga County, and the college. The arena is scheduled to open in late 2011.