It was an exciting night at Onondaga Community College. The school officially opened up its new SRC Arena and Events Center. Our Katie Gibas has more.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Onondaga Community college has come a long way of the last few decades.
"Since 1983, when we were in downtown Syracuse and the atmosphere was more of a store-front type college, I cannot believe how much OCC has grown, from our little spot in downtown Syracuse, in the buildings right there on State Street and to come up here and grow to the magnitude that we are now," said Carole Fisher, the OCC Student Association President.
The latest in that development and expansion is the completion of the SRC arena and event center. It has over 60,000 square feet of exhibit space, a six lane track and enough space for three interchangeable courts for basketball, tennis and volleyball, which will allow the 15 OCC athletic teams to have a place to practice and play.
"Being a newcomer, you would never know this is a community college, with the dormitories and this kind of facility and the other facilities that are on campus, it's pretty extraordinary," said Steve Hyman, the SRC Arena General Manager.
Not only will the space be used for campus activities, including bringing college graduation ceremonies back to the college grounds. It will also be used for community events, like Section III Athletics, concerts and other performances.
"This is a regional facility and that's how this has to be looked at. Most of the buildings I've been involved in have a regional footprint in terms of their appeal, so we intend to broaden our perspective and clientele," said Hyman.
Fisher added, "We watched the community around us grow. Houses were going up. Businesses were thriving. And as we continue to grow, I know that will continue to grow as well."
OCC officials also hope to make use of the arena as a teaching tool for students interested in working the operation of or managing a similar facility.
The events center is named after the Syracuse Research Corporation, which donated $1.5 million in scholarships to the school.
The first events at the arena will be held this weekend.