Ribbon cut for new JCC multipurpose turf field

Ribbon cut on Cannoneers' new turf field
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 7:35 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Decades of planning and dreaming came to fruition Thursday afternoon at Jefferson Community College, with the ribbon cutting to open the new $4 million multipurpose turf field facility on campus.

State, county, and college officials along with local dignitaries were on hand for the event to christen a one-of-a-kind athletic complex for the region.

“I’ve been at a lot of athletic facilities,” JCC Board of Trustees chair David Males said. “I’ve never seen anything that has that kind of a multi-purpose use to it. This is really, really unique to this area and this region.”

JCC president Dr. Daniel Dupee III says this project has been in the works since 2008, but a number of other priorities and financial hurdles — along with COVID 19 — pushed the plan to the back burner for several years.

But with the help of state and county officials, along with assistance from organizations within the college, the project was able to finally be completed after years of delays.

“We felt like we constantly ran into new barriers every time we tried to get this moving,” Dupee said, “so today is a huge weight lifted off all of our shoulders. We’ve really got this, now we need to operationalize it and really learn how to use this for our community and for our athletes.”

One of the driving forces behind getting the multipurpose facility on campus was JCC athletic director Jeff Wiley, who’s had a front-row seat from conception of the project to completion, giving him a special appreciation for what it has taken to get to this point.

“Wow, it’s exciting,” he said. “Just working with the architects, the construction workers, just seeing it built out of my office it’s been amazing. Everything that goes into it is for the student athletes. This is going to be a game changer for us for recruiting for all of our sports.”

For the coaches and the players having the opportunity to not only play but practice at this state-of-the-art facility, this is something they are excited about and, as Wiley said, will be a game changer for Cannoneer athletics.

“Just the amount of development that we can have out here late into the fall, early spring, we can just have so many more practices, so much more availability with the weather being able to practice right here on campus,” baseball coach Brandon Noble said.

“It’s fantastic,” said Chris Rowland, who coaches men’s and women’s soccer. “I mean the quality of the field here is just unbelievable. It will help us retain some of the local talent that maybe would have gone elsewhere for better facilities and of course bringing in students from out of state and of course out of the country as well.”

Rowland’s women’s team will be the first to play on the turf, hosting SUNY Broome at high noon on Sunday.