Last weekend, Colgate’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the construction of a new $37.8 million, 97,000-square-foot athletic facility, contingent on the receipt of $25 million in gifts. So far, commitments toward the project total $20.8 million from alumni, families, and friends.
The new facility will be adjacent to Reid Athletic Center, and feature a hockey rink, locker rooms, training and meeting space, and offices for coaches of the men’s and women’s ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer programs. It also would allow for the eventual repurposing of Starr Rink for practice facilities.
“These are exciting times not only for athletics but for the university,” said athletics director Vicky Chun ’91. “Support for the facility is a testament to great leadership by our president, trustees, and the many alumni, families, and friends that have donated their time and money toward the facility. Student-athletes across our 25 Division I teams will benefit from the facility as they continue to compete at the highest level, and we will continue to attract the best and the brightest to Colgate.”
According to President Jeffrey Herbst, “Upgrading Colgate’s athletic facilities exemplifies the university’s commitment to sustained excellence at the Division I level, and is consistent with recommendations from the strategic planning working group on athletics.”
Since his inauguration, Herbst also has emphasized Colgate’s relationship with Hamilton and the region. “Assets that promote a sense of place are critical to both Colgate and the community,” he said. “The construction of the new facility, where 1,500 people can come together in common spirit, will be a major benefit to all of us.”
The decision to move forward on the new athletic facility continues the momentum established with the construction and renovation of academic buildings, including the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology, the Robert H.N. Ho Interdisciplinary Science Center, and Lathrop Hall. The board’s actions guarantee that the project’s funding will be aligned with the academic priorities of the operating budget.
Trustee Michael J. Herling ’79, chair of the board committee on athletic affairs, is enthusiastic about the trustees’ commitment. “This new athletic facility will have profound and long term positive impacts on Colgate students and the broader community,” he said. “In combination with the Trudy Fitness Center, it illustrates Colgate’s commitment to fitness and athletics as a distinctive part of the educational experience for our students.”