The facility features the East End's first indoor public pool. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Officials cut the ceremonial ribbon today to celebrate the grand opening of the Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus Health and Wellness Center.

The $21 million, 40,000-square-foot building features an eight-lane, 25-yard indoor pool built for sanctioned competitive swimming and diving. It is ADA-accessible.

The facility also features: an 11,500-square-foot gymnasium, with an indoor track, six backboards and striping for basketball, volleyball and badminton; a 2,200-square-foot weight room with treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, nautilus equipment and free weights; a climbing wall with eight stations, each equipped with a belay bar; and two classrooms separated by a folding partition.

College officials and elected officials gathered poolside this morning to hail the new athletic facility as critical infrastructure for a college campus — and one that’s been missing on the eastern campus until now.

State Senator Ken LaValle, a staunch advocate of public higher education, said community colleges are “the gateway to higher education.” He said he believes Suffolk has the best community college in the state.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele noted the athletic facility is something that he was looking forward to for “years, even decades.”

Sen. Ken LaValle speaks to the crowd gathered on the bleachers for the opening ceremony. Photo: Denise Civiletti

“A college without a library or an athletic facility can’t really be considered a college campus,” Thiele said.

The public pool is something that has been anticipated by so many on the East End for so long and something the region really needs, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said.

The facility was opened for students in February, SCCC spokesperson Drew Biondo said. The college started programming at the facility at the start of the spring semester, he said.

Membership applications will be accepted from the public beginning in June. They can be accessed online here.

The annual membership fees for the eastern campus health center (Suffolk County residents): adults, $275; seniors (60 and over) and children up to grade 12, $220; family (head of household, spouse, dependents under 18 years or under 23 if enrolled as full-time student), $720.

The pool will be open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The fitness room will be open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. through 9 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The climbing wall inside the fitness center. Photo: Denise Civiletti

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.