WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson Community College has leveled up its athletics program.
The college officially broke ground on its state-of-the-art synthetic turf field on September 29. This new $4 million facility will replace the JCC baseball field at the back of campus.
However, it will not only host baseball. The turf is designed to be adjustable to accommodate soccer, baseball, softball and, once again, lacrosse programs.
“It allows us to play every sport back-to-back-to-back,” JCC Athletic Director Jeff Wiley shared. “The setup, putting up a fence, putting the goals on, taking the goals off and setting up for baseball. So it’s going to be a true multipurpose field with quick changeovers.”
According to SUNY Jefferson leadership, it is considered a “game-changer” as these sports teams often have to use other fields in the county due to weather conditions and muddy fields.
“We’ve been spread out. We’ve been at the Fairgrounds, we’ve been at other high school campuses,” Administrator in Charge Dr. Daniel Dupee explained. “[The new turf] allows us to have all of our sports back up here on campus.”
Bringing sports back to campus was the main motive of the project and a change Wiley has been pushing for years.
“It just allows us to get a lot of games in and start a lot earlier,” Wiley said. “The NJC Region 3 has a standardized schedule. We can start in early March, and get our games in.”
JCC student-athletes also felt this excitement at the groundbreaking. Softball players Brooke Beleza and Emma Parslow explained how it will not only boost on-campus morale but also attract new student-athletes.
“I feel like it’s definitely going to be an encouragement for athletes to want to come to practice and want to come to games,” Beleza said. “Because it’s going to make the campus look better.”
“It will definitely allow a lot more people to come together and watch sports at the school,” Parslow added. “As JCC.”
The new turf field will also be equipped with stadium lighting and sound system, a digital scoreboard with game statistics and replay capabilities, four dugouts, two batting cages, two bullpens and designated areas for bleaches.
Construction began on the project during the week of September 26, 2022, and the project is expected to be complete in April 2023.