Big Changes in the Works for Appleton Arena
Appleton Arena is about to change.
The things that give the arena its indelible character—the wooden seats and arched, wooden ceiling—will remain, but the home of the NCAA Division-I St. Lawrence Skating Saints is going to get much, much bigger.
“I congratulate the University,” Tom Dolan ’74 says, “for producing a plan that assures Appleton will retain the charm of its historic personality while adding important 21st century amenities.”
Tom and the Dolan Family Foundation have committed $10 million in a lead gift to begin renovations of the arena. The project also received $1.5 million from the Torrey and MacAllaster families in memory of William A. (Bill) Torrey ’57.
One of the most important decisions in this multi-year project was also one of the first: choosing the global design agency HOK. It’s one of the elite architectural firms now working on sports venues across North America. HOK’s plans call for significant renovations that will be world class.
Chris Wells ’92, the head women’s coach, has been involved with the planning as part of a campus user group.
What will change?
The building’s footprint will expand dramatically. It will include several new facilities, including the Saints Hockey Complex. This space will house new men’s and women’s locker rooms, coaching offices, a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center, a training and treatment center, multimedia/meeting room, hockey shot simulator for player practice, and a new studio capable of streaming home games on the web and broadcasting them on TV and radio.
A new entry and lobby will change the exterior look of Appleton. This enhanced space will welcome hockey fans with a Saints retail store, redesigned box office, and memorabilia spanning the history of the Skating Saints.
On the concourse level, former Skating Saints alumni will have a space to call home when they return to Appleton. The new hockey alumni lounge, that features views of campus, will provide past and present players an entertaining space to come together with teammates and their families throughout the year. This level will also feature three large entertaining areas and club rooms where parents, fans, faculty, and staff can enjoy an evening of Saints Hockey.
Appleton renovations will benefit the North Country community by providing first-rate facilities to the community. Plans currently include a new visitors’ locker room, premium seating, and a team store.
The substantial upgrades to the Division-I athletic facilities will also complement new athletic facilities and opportunities for Division-III lacrosse, rowing, softball, and field hockey. These sports will gain a new weight and cardio training facility, dedicated locker rooms, a players’ lounge and a conference room for Division-III coaches.
What will stay the same?
The timeless architectural details, the wooden seats, and iconic ceiling of Appleton will remain. The excitement of home games, palpable energy from the players, and the views for fans will remain the foundation for an evening at Appleton Arena. The transformation of one of the oldest and most-storied collegiate hockey arenas in the nation will create an environment our players, hockey alumni, campus community, and fans near and far will be extremely proud of.
For more information about the Appleton Arena Project