Mercyhurst University

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Ice center renovations elevate player experience

Friday, January 6, 2017

A half-million-dollar renovation to the Mercyhurst University Ice Center is nearly two weeks shy of completion, and though the Lakers’ loyal fans may not notice a big difference, the players definitely will.

It will be great for our players and for recruiting, echo Mercyhurst University Division I hockey coaches Rick Gotkin (men’s team) and Mike Sisti (women’s team). The facilities will have many of the amenities that players have come to expect at the D-1 level, they say.

The renovations involve a total redesign of the men’s and women’s locker rooms marked by additions to each space, new custom-built wooden lockers in both the locker rooms and changing rooms, an upgraded ventilation system and an updated equipment room. There are even a few bells and whistles, key among them frosted glass insets between the locker tops and ceiling that house LED strip lighting, which can be set to different colors.

“It’s all very high tech and up to date,” said project architect Shelane Buehler of Erie.

The project also includes new paint within the center proper, the addition of new office space on the mezzanine and updates to the VIP area on the second floor, she said.

All told, the project cost $500,000, which was funded entirely by private donations, said Caleb Pifer, vice president for advancement and external affairs.

The locker room renovations follow last year’s $50,000 redesign of the ice center lobby, including a permanent ticketing station, trophy case, new doors, lighting and carpet, and fresh paint.

Looking forward, Pifer said fundraising will continue this year to finance additional improvements that the general public can enjoy. “The Mercyhurst Ice Center is one of the most heavily utilized community assets in the area and we intend to continue with upgrades,” Pifer added.