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New college fitness center to be open to all Suffolk residents

TIM GANNON PHOTO Construction is ongoing for a gym and pool that will be available for all Suffolk County residents.

TIM GANNON PHOTO Construction is ongoing for a gym and pool on the East End that will be available to all Suffolk County residents.

More than 40 years after they were first proposed, a fitness center and indoor swimming pool are under construction in Northampton.

 After years of setbacks, work on the project began in early September at the Eastern Campus of Suffolk County Community College and officials hope the fitness center will be operational by the fall of 2018. Construction began almost exactly two years after a group of state, county and local officials gathered at the site for a groundbreaking ceremony.

“This is going to be a huge asset to the community,” said county Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Sag Harbor). “In my district on the South Fork, there’s 240 square miles, including Shelter Island, and we have one small indoor pool, which is in East Hampton. So this is a facility that is really lacking in the community now.”

Steel framing for the $22 million, 40,000-square-foot Health and Wellness Center is going up on the south side of the campus.

“The goal is to get the steel up first and close the building; then they can work on the interior over the winter,” said SCCC spokesman Drew Biondo.

The facility will feature an eight-lane indoor swimming pool, basketball court, locker room and shower facilities and faculty space as well as a weight training room and rock climbing wall, Mr. Biondo said.

The building will be LEED certified for energy efficiency and will serve as a health and wellness facility for students as well as for Suffolk County residents.