A proposed $30.3 million multi-sport athletic complex project at Jamestown Community College will be going before the County Planning Board.
The Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved sending the proposed project before the board at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
JCC President Dr. Daniel DeMarte said the project involves a three-in-one turf field for soccer, baseball, and softball, “It also includes one additional turf field. One of the challenges of having a 3-in-1 turf field is coordinating practices and games in a single space. Soccer being our fullest roster sport. [This] would provide us additional space and effort around an additional soccer field. It also includes stadium renovations to the existing stadium.”
DeMarte said the City of Jamestown also would need to transfer ownership of Russell E. Diethrick Stadium to the college. The SUNY Board of Trustees also would have to sign off on the ownership transfer of Diethrick Stadium.
DeMarte said while the goal is to get both the stadium and multi-sport turf field to go forward, at minimum, his goal is to get the multi-sport turf field completed.
He said the State University of New York Capital program would cover 50% of the $30,308,246 project cost, “Historically, the County has covered 25% of our capital projects and the college carries, or picks up, the additional 25% mostly through the help of the (JCC) Foundation. What is unknown in this case is if we get beyond the transfer of the ownership whether or not we would pursue additional sponsorship from the city.”
DeMarte said his concern is that without the program, the college won’t be able to recruit and retain students, “Without some type of renovations to our facilities, what’s at stake is losing those 160 (athletic students). And that’s almost full roster for everything we offer. It’s not quite full roster but it’s close. There are enough of those 160 that live on campus that, in effect, we fill a residence hall with athletes alone. So again, if we’re not able to recruit and retain it’s not just enrollment but it’s also our residence halls.”
JCC will make its presentation to the County Planning Board at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 1 in the JCC Campus Boardroom.
This is the second time the project is being sent to Chautauqua County for consideration. The Chautauqua County Legislature declined to fund the project as part of the 2023 budget, requesting the college create a more comprehensive plan.
If the Planning Board recommends the project move forward, it would then go before the County Legislature for consideration under the 2024 Capital Budget as part of the annual budget process in the Fall. The New York State Legislature then would have to approve funding the project as part of the state’s 2024-25 budget.