The Mercyhurst Ice Center will undergo a $300,000 renovation project that will include a complete makeover of the lobby, as well as increased, and raised, seating, especially at the west end above the varsity locker rooms to allow for more seating capacity and better viewing.
The arena first opened on Dec. 8, 1991.
The university’s men’s and women’s hockey programs received a generous $15,000 donation from First Niagara Bank to start the renovation project.
“I am privileged to know my friends from First Niagara Bank and appreciate their support for Mercyhurst University and our hockey programs,” said Mercyhurst women’s hockey coach Michael Sisti in a statement. “This generous gift will help us make necessary improvements to our players’ ‘classroom’ as they pursue their athletic dreams while simultaneously striving to achieve academic excellence. We are truly thankful and appreciative for this donation from the First Niagara Foundation and thank all the members of this tremendous community for their continued support.”
“We are very excited and appreciative to accept this donation from First Niagara,” added Lakers’ men’s hockey coach Rick Gotkin in a statement. “A number of teams in our conference have built new rinks or have done renovations to the building that they already had. We are very excited for these upcoming changes to our home and we know that these updates will help the Ice Center become one of the premier rinks in our league. We would like to thank First Niagara, again, for this generous gift and we are certain that this is the jump-start we needed to make this vision a reality.”
The university will match up to $150,000 of the project cost, while the hockey programs are attempting to raise enough money by the end of this academic year in the hopes of beginning the construction this summer.