New Hockey Rink Approved for 2016

Kendall Murtha

The new athletics facility represents the most recent of a long line of renovations the University has undertaken in order to enhance Colgate’s campus and the

surrounding Hamilton community.

The construction of the Robert H.N. Ho Interdisciplinary Science Center in 2007 was followed by the renovation of Lathrop Hall, which now holds the English Department, the Writing and Rhetoric Department and the Division of University Studies.

Lathrop reopened this past December after eight months of extensive and successful construction. The University’s focus has since shifted from academic to athletic restorations.

“It is clear that Reid Athletic Center, built more than 50 years ago for a school of 1400 men, no longer meets Colgate’s needs or our ambitions for sustained excellence at the Division I level,” President Herbst wrote in an email to Colgate employees last February.

The project, presently referred to as the “New Athletics Facility” with the absence of a naming gift, calls for construction on the current Van Doren Field. The building would house a hockey rink and locker rooms as well as offices for men’s and women’s ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse teams.

“President Herbst has emphasized the promotion of a sense of place within Colgate,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks said. “Starr Rink currently fails this test; its poor condition undoubtedly deters audiences who would be drawn to a more exciting entertainment venue.”

The new facility’s projected capacity of 1,500 would hopefully foster further attendance at athletic events by students and fans alike. According to Hicks, Starr Rink would then be converted into additional practice space for other teams.

Colgate currently boasts 23 varsity sports teams and even more club and intramurals teams, many of which are forced to practice at ‘odd hours.’ Despite this prospect, the potential repurposing of Starr Rink cannot even be considered until significant further efforts are made to fund the debt caused by the construction of the new facility.

“It is recognized that the construction of the new athletics building and eventual renovation of Starr are likely to be the major University investments in athletics for a generation,” Herbst said. “The incremental growth of the athletics budget funded by University revenue is likely to be highly constrained.”

Though the Board of Trustees unanimously ruled in favor of the construction of the 97,000 square foot new facility, the project will be capped at 37.8 million dollars, and this budget will be enforced stringently. The design process was only given the green light after 25 million dollars in pledges were collected: a demonstration of alumni and parent support for the school’s

continuing commitment to excellence.

“Since the Board of Trustees’ approval, we are working with our Capital Projects team at Colgate to begin the design phase,” Senior Associate Director of Athletics Ann Marie Guglieri said. “Once the design phase is complete, we will engage with the appropriate engineers and construction companies to break ground as soon as possible. The timeline for the project is aggressive and expected completion will be for the 2016-2017 Ice Hockey season.”

Contact Kendall Murtha at [email protected]