By Greg Myford, Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State’s Board of Trustees on Friday (Jan. 21) approved the name of the University’s future state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena – “Pegula Ice Arena”– after donors Terrence M. and Kim Pegula. In mid-September, the University announced the Pegulas’ $88 million gift, the largest private gift in Penn State’s history, which was intended to fund the arena as well as help to establish an NCAA Division I men’s hockey program.
“We remain involved as Penn State moves through the planning process for the ice arena. We can’t wait for the puck to drop on opening night in the new arena,” said Terry Pegula. “Kim and I will take great pride in the arena bearing our family’s name, and are happy that our gift is enabling Athletics to bring Division I hockey to Penn State, and producing a venue that will allow hockey to grow further in the central Pennsylvania region.”
The arena is slated to open in late 2013. Crawford Architects of Kansas City, Mo., and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., were appointed as architects for the design of the new 200,000-square-foot, multi-purpose ice arena to be constructed on the University Park campus.
“We are extremely thankful for the Pegulas’ gift. The fact the arena will now bear their name will ensure that generations to come will know of their generosity to Penn State University,” said Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley. “Pegula Ice Arena will offer numerous competitive and recreational opportunities to the University and local communities. The impact of the Pegulas’ remarkable gift will be felt far beyond ice hockey and for many years to come.”
Pegula Ice Arena will be the only major rink within an 80-mile radius and will be on par with the best collegiate facilities in the country. The facility will be built on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive, directly west of the Bryce Jordan Center. It will include two ice sheets and other features that will allow it to be used for a broad range of campus and community activities, from commencement ceremonies to kinesiology classes to public skating sessions and camps for youth.
The facility will provide new training and performance opportunities for Penn State’s figure skating club and for the University’s women’s ice hockey team, which will transition from club to varsity status. The arena also will offer ice time to recreational and high school hockey programs, as well as intramural and local speed skating and broomball clubs. The arena will be able to host events such as professional ice shows and National Hockey League and American Hockey League exhibition games, generating tourism and other economic impacts in the region
In conjunction with the largest private gift in the history of the University that funds this arena, Penn State will establish NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs. The two teams are slated to begin competition in the 2012-13 season.