Questions Surround Convention Center At JCC

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The numbers work - so says a report on building a multi-purpose complex where a nursing home (pictured) now stands at the Jefferson Community College entrance. 

It's just what college officials wanted to hear.

"Well, certainly that was our hope, but we wanted to be sure," said JCC President Dr. Carole McCoy.

The complex could have an events center, a field house and new classrooms.

But the report says an ice arena doesn't make sense because the college doesn't have a hockey team. 

To local skaters, though, there's an obvious reason for that.

"Because there's not all-year-round ice," said Toni Davis, a local figure skating instructor.

Skaters say that if you build it, they will come.

"I think if we had all-year-round ice, you would find numbers," said Davis.

Even without ice, the new facility would be more competition for the Fairgrounds Arena.

"If we have to change some of what we do to be able to make new offerings to the community, we'll have to do that," said Erin Gardner, superintendent of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

But before anything happens, there's the $44 million question over the funding.

"We'll be first building consensus in the community of exactly what we want to go for on this, and vetting it, and then we will be out there seeking funding," said McCoy.

As for the nursing home, it has to come down.

The county, which owns it, is about to start serious discussion about that.

See our earlier report

Saturday, July 26, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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