UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State Hockey community celebrated the official groundbreaking ceremony for Pegula Ice Arena on Friday, with coaches, fans and dignitaries gathering at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex to mark the occasion.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson opened the ceremony before turning the program over to Board of Trustees chair Karen Peetz. Acting Director of Athletics Dr. Dave Joyner and Terry Pegula, who along with his wife, Kim, donated $88 million in September 2010 for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art facility and the elevation of the hockey programs to the NCAA Division I level, also shared their remarks.
“I’m proud to officially mark the construction of Pegula Ice Arena,” said Erickson in his opening remarks. “This is truly a momentous day for Penn State, our student-athletes, the local community and ice hockey fans everywhere. Our goal is to make this arena, and the vast array of activities to be held in it, the national model by which all other programs are measured.”
“This groundbreaking is an extraordinary moment in the history of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, and it’s an opportunity to express the gratitude of our students, our fans and the entire Penn State community for Terry and Kim Pegula’s generosity and vision,” added Joyner. “The Pegula Ice Arena is impressive, not just for what it will be, but for what it will do.”
Following the individual remarks, the group then joined Kim Pegula, associate athletic director for ice arena and hockey development Joe Battista, head hockey coaches Josh Brandwene (women) and Guy Gadowsky(men), senior vice president for development and alumni relations Rod Kirsch and Buffalo Sabres chief development officer Cliff Benson for the ceremonial dig.
Pegula Ice Arena, which broke ground in early February 2012, will feature two ice surfaces — a main rink, home to Penn State’s varsity hockey programs, and a community rink. The main arena will feature 6,000 seats, including a 1,000-seat student section.
Some of the amenities Penn State student-athletes will experience include a 5,000-square foot weight room, hydrotherapy training room, steam room, team lounge and locker room area.
The Centre County community will also be able to take advantage of the community rink, which will be open approximately 360 days per year for public use. The rink will seat 300 fans, feature eight locker rooms and host local youth hockey and skating programs.
Pegula Ice Arena will be located near the corner of University Drive and Curtin Road, across from the Bryce Jordan Center. It will be completed in time for the 2013-14 season, coinciding with the men’s and women’s hockey teams second year at the varsity level. The men’s team will join the Big Ten for the 2013-14 season, while the women’s squad will begin its second year as a member of College Hockey America.
Jeff Nelson, Penn State University