RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory yesterday joined Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) officials in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Health and Wellness Center on the school’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead.
The 48,000 square-foot building will include a gymnasium, indoor pool, rock-climbing wall and nursing classroom. The cost of the $18 million facility will be split between the state and the county, which designated the necessary funds in its 2013-2015 Capital Project Plan, approved in 2012.
“This facility will play a vital role in Suffolk’s academic experience, as students in good physical health are much more likely to succeed in the classroom,” said Presiding Officer Gregory. “Additionally, the Health and Wellness Center will prove to be an invaluable resource both to the community at large and to East End police and firefighters, who will be able to receive water certification here in Riverhead.”
Elected leaders joined Suffolk County Community College officials in breaking ground on a new Health and Wellness Center at the school’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead on Sept 28. From left: 6th District Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker; Dick O’Kane, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties; 11th District Suffolk County Legislator Tom Barraga; New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle; Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun McKay; Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory; New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.; Southampton Councilwoman Bridget Fleming; and 2nd District Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.
“No longer are we going to have three disparate campuses,” said SCCC President Dr. Shaun McKay, who emphasized the importance of a singular Suffolk experience that unites the Brentwood, Selden and Riverhead campuses. “We are officially one college.”
“I know the other students will be just as excited about this facility as I am,” said Maria Gomez of Hampton Bays, who serves as a student trustee at SCCC. “Suffolk has not only given me an opportunity, it’s given me a community. I spoke very little English when I started school here, but my professors pushed me to join clubs so that I was interacting more with other students. This building will serve as a center where the campus community can come together.”
“The Health and Wellness Center is an absolute necessity,” said 11th District Legislator Tom Barraga, who previously served on the school’s board of trustees. “This building will further complete the campus and provide vital classes and services to East End students, who will no longer have to drive to Brentwood for access to such a facility.”
“The new Health and Wellness Center will be a great asset to Suffolk County Community College, where 26,000 students are enrolled,” said 6th District Legislator Sarah Anker, who chairs the Legislature’s Education and Information Technology Committee. “The new facilities will give both students and local residents a place for physical fitness, as well as provide classrooms for practical training.”
“This is a great day for both the college and the surrounding community,” said 2nd District Legislator Jay Schneiderman. “The construction of the Health and Wellness Center will benefit our economy and enhance recreational opportunities for both the students and the residents of the East End.”
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