Board of Trustees Approves New Athletic Facility

Board of Trustees Approves New Athletic Facility

During their formal meeting on Saturday, February 2, The Colgate Board of Trustees approved a plan to construct a new athletic facility that will replace the aging Starr Rink. The new building will provide much-needed room for the men’s and women’s ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer programs, while allowing the vacated space in Reid Athletics Center to be repurposed for other sports and activities.

“A decision was made to proceed with the development of plans for construction when the fundraising goal of $25 million is reached,” Chair of the Board Denis F. Cronin ’69 said. This benchmark is fast approaching: so far, commitments to the project total $20.8 million. However, the overall cost of construction will likely total far more; the administration’s current plan is to construct the facility at a cost not to exceed $37.8 million. The facility may seem costly, but it is also a long-awaited amelioration.

“Colgate has been working for many years to determine the optimal way to address the looming deferred maintenance problem within Starr Rink as the air-handling and ice support systems must be replaced,” Vice President for Finance and Administration David Hale said. “The level of investment to simply address those infrastructure needs is approximately $7.0 million and we have been concerned about making such a sizable investment in an aging building that has many additional shortcomings beyond its mechanical systems.”

According to Hale, the Advancement Office has been working extraordinarily hard for the last 15 months to raise $20 million in donations.

“The project went before the board for the first time in the fall of 2011. They said it appeared to be a good solution, but that we had to fundraise for it first,” Hale said.

Now that the project has the Board’s official approval, Colgate will work with an architectural firm once the $25 million mark has been reached. From that point, the development of construction documents will likely take about a year to complete, followed by an estimated two years for construction.

“The new athletic facility will have a 2,000 seat hockey arena and provide locker rooms and coaches’ offices for men’s and women’s ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer,” Hale said.

“This new facility addresses the deferred maintenance problem in Starr Rink and will ultimately allow Starr Rink to be re-purposed into additional practice and recreational space for Colgate students,” Hale said.

Assistant Director of Athletics for Medical Services Steven Chouinard is excited for the project, which has been in the works for some time.

“People shouldn’t assume that it’s a hockey rink alone; the project as a whole will benefit every sports program across the board as well as club sports and intramurals,” Chouinard said.

 “The New Athletic Facility will be an important initiative in achieving our goal for sustained excellence in Division I sports. We are grateful for the important support we have received from alumni, parents and friends and look forward to raising the $25 million necessary so that the Facility can move forward,” President Herbst said.

This upgrade will also complement the recent construction and renovation of academic buildings, including Case Library, the Ho Science Center and Lathrop Hall.

 According to men’s hockey player senior Christian Long, the anticipated new facility will be more than welcomed.

“It’s exciting for the Colgate Athletic department in general,” Long said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction towards improving our athletic facilities, and it will help vastly in the recruitment process for potential student athletes. It will also hopefully bring in higher attendance rates for the sporting events because of how much nicer it will be as a venue. Looking at our rink in comparison to other rinks across the nation, it is clear that it is a little outdated for our level of competition.”

        Contact Rebekah Ward at

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