BEL AIR, Md. - Harford County is about to throw open the doors to a new era.
The largest indoor venue in Northeastern Maryland is set to open Tuesday at Harford Community College – APG Federal Credit Union Arena.
But, the new arena is only part of the extensive renovations at the school.
Tuesday's ribbon-cutting will be followed by a doubleheader of men's and women's basketball.
"I think the reaction of the basketball players when they first walked in to see the floor was just a ‘whoa.' They were really astounded at how big and beautiful it was and what a great venue it will be for their games," said Harford Community College president Dr. Dennis Golladay.
The new 3,200-seat arena is only a part of the extensive three-year $26 million renovation at the school. The long outdated Susquehanna Center has now doubled in size and will provide state-of-the-art fitness opportunities for students.
Students on campus say they are thrilled with the updates.
"I feel so much pride in our school with this new arena," said second year student Spencer Blackwell. "It sets us apart from all other community colleges, and it's really gonna put Harford Community College on the map."
School officials say the arena renovations are not just a boon for students, but the entire community.
"As we bring in outside events, national recording artists, other expos , etc.," said APG Federal Credit Union Arena general manager Greg Pizzuto. We anticipate that those people demographically from the surrounding area will bring money into the area for restaurants, hotel visits, etc."