SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—Work is underway on the 3200 square foot addition to the Saratoga Springs City Rink that will house key operational space for the Skidmore College ice hockey team.
The expansion is a result of a partnership between Skidmore College and the City of Saratoga Springs that allows the College to build a new hockey locker room complex while enabling the City to make a number of other planned improvements to its ice rink facilities.
Located directly behind the home bench, the expansion will include a locker room, changing room, training room, coaches’ office, laundry and equipment room, showers, bathrooms, and a skate sharpening area.
“This is a great step forward for our ice hockey program,”
said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics Gail Cummings-Danson.
“Providing a quality locker room and support space for our team to call home helps to establish a sense of identity and build a strong team culture. Both are vital ingredients necessary to compete at the highest level. This has been a long time coming and we are appreciative of the college’s commitment to the program and the partnership we have built with the city of Saratoga Springs.”
In exchange for use of the land to build the addition, the City will receive license fees for other planned improvements to its ice rink facilities, which may include the installation of a new traffic light at the rink entrance, upgrades for both the Weibel and Vernon rink lobbies, and other projects determined by the City in consultation with Skidmore.
Skidmore head coach Rob Hutchison has a long history with the Weibel Avenue facility as a player for the Thoroughbreds from 2003 to 2007 and as the program’s coach since the 2015-16 season. He knows the benefits the new facility will bring.
“The new locker room facility will better accommodate our student-athletes individual needs, as well as those of the program as a whole—Allowing us to function in a more efficient manner, as well as provide an upgraded environment to prepare,” Hutchison said. “We’ve been fortunate to have had some success in the recent years, but to sustain, we certainly needed an upgrade to the facility. By providing a top-notch facility to help us compete in the top Division 3 hockey conference, Skidmore’s commitment to our program and athletics in general is clearly on display.
“The planning process was certainly enjoyable, but to see progress each day, the reality of the project coming together has brought an additional eagerness and excitement. I am happy for the current and future players that will have the opportunity to call this place home.”
Senior captain Matthew Monk realizes the facility’s positive impact on the program and the student athlete experience.
“There has definitely been a buzz around the room and athletic department,” Monk said. “It has been really cool coming to the rink every day and being able to see the progress. Our team loves being around each other and this project amplifies that feeling and gives us a space where we can focus on hockey, giving us a mental break from anything else that is going on.”
Despite being a senior, Monk realizes the future benefit.
“It is always important to strive for the best student-athlete experience possible,” Monk added. “This reassures that our program has national championship aspirations. This locker room is a great step in making the experience the best it can be for the guys on our team. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to suit up for the program in this new room, but I look forward to coming back to support the program and see the room.”
Construction will continue through the spring in preparation for the 2023-24 season.