A Decade of Capital Investment

Many people coming to the Onondaga Community College campus, particularly those who have not returned for some time, are often surprised at the changes that have occurred. Nearly every building on the campus, largely constructed in the early 1970s, has been renovated to meet the needs of a 21st century college, and four new buildings, the Whitney Applied Technology Center and three residence halls, have been added.

Since 1998, Onondaga has been infused with $50 million in investment for capital improvements. This has included the opening of the Whitney Applied Technology Center in 1999 which serves as home to many of the College’s premiere technology programs, including Architectural Technology, Electronic Media Communications, Computer Studies, Electrical Engineering Technology, and Automotive Technology. Whitney also houses the division of continuing and extended learning, largely responsible for meeting the needs of students and businesses beyond the traditional daytime, on-campus model.

In 2003, the College’s five-year Facilities Master Plan continued the campus’ focus on renovation and renewal. This included the opening of three residence halls in 2006, updating science labs in Ferrante Hall and the renovation of much of the Gordon Student Center, including the addition of a modern Dining Commons, Student Central and the Gordon Great Room.

With the vast majority of classrooms on campus, nearly all Onondaga students pass through Mawhinney Hall. Classrooms in this building are better equipped to provide a more optimal environment for teaching and learning, benefiting from recent renovations to improve heating/cooling, sound-proofing and to infuse modern equipment for today’s classroom.

Following an extensive process of establishing priorities, soliciting input and securing funding, the College has established the 2008-2013 Facilities Master Plan. The priorities of the plan are:

  • Enhancing opportunities for student engagement
  • Providing premiere facilities for premiere programs
  • Preparing for continued growth
  • Enhancing campus sustainability
  • Expanding opportunities for community use


Highlights of the plan include the construction of an athletics field house and renovations to the nearly 40-year old Health and Physical Education (HPE) building, home to a number of academic programs such as Onondaga’s new degree program in Physical Education and Exercise Science. Adjacent to HPE, construction of an athletic field is nearing completion providing a home field for the first time in the College’s history to our national championship men’s lacrosse team and other athletic teams on campus and in the community.

Thus far, Onondaga has secured $68.4 million in state appropriations toward implementation of the 2008-20013 Facilities Master Plan, including $38 million for Phase I. Projects will also include final renovations to Mawhinney Hall and further renovations to science labs.