QU unveils plans for new arena
Quinnipiac University has announced plans for a new $25 million sports complex set to open in 2006. The facility will include both a basketball court and ice hockey rink for Quinnipiac athletic teams.
The hockey arena will have approximately 2,500 seats, while the basketball court will have 3,000 seats.
The complex will be located on Sherman Avenue, and will be considered a separate campus in addition to the current campus. The Sherman Avenue campus encompasses 240 acres, and the athletic center will be 157,000 square feet.
“The architecture will be consistent with any other building you see on campus [and it will be] managed just as any other building is maintained,” Director of Public Relations John Morgan said.
“I think that the University has wanted to upgrade its athletic facility for a number of years,” Morgan said. “It’s definitely going to be a fan-friendly venue.”
Morgan and Director of Facilities Joe Rubertone believe the building of this facility will be a major step forward in improving Quinnipiac athletics.
“It will help the coaches in recruiting players,” Rubertone said.
“I think it also allows [Quinnipiac] to house more major games on campus,” Morgan said.
The acquisition of the Sherman Avenue property was acquired through land purchases. President John Lahey and trustees agreed on a plan for the new athletic center.
The arrangement is to construct a road and parking lot in addition to the building itself.
“Athletic facilities will be the first building in 2006,” Rubertone said. “In the future we see the growth in the graduate buildings, [but] anything else is subject to the test of time.”
Rubertone said the existing basketball design is dated.
“There was a movement that we needed to improve the [current] facility,” he said. “It’s a 60s venue [and] we need to move into the proper century.”
He said ice hockey and basketball are sports of emphasis on campus and it made sense to build both of them together.
Although the complex will only house basketball and ice hockey, the other sports on campus have not been forgotten.
“We will continue to support the other sports in the existing facilities on the campus,” Rubertone said.
All areas have been covered in the planning of the Sherman Avenue campus, including Wetlands approval and Plannning and Zoning approval.
“We have filed with both commissions,” Rubertone said. “You need to have Wetlands approval before Planning and Zoning.”
Wetlands is responsible for any piece of property that has wetlands on it, and Planning and Zoning is responsible for how the land is used.
Electric, gas, water and sanitary needs are also being handled in order to prepare the facility for use.
The Facilities Department supervises the construction, and either a construction manager or a general contractor will be in charge of further responsibilities.
Student athletes and fans will be provided with a shuttle service to transport them to and from the athletic complex.
The coaches were able to decide locations of their offices, study rooms, lockers, and equipment.
“We have talked to the entire athletic department and they have had a significant amount of input,” Rubertone said.
“We see that the four sports, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s ice hockey, would use this as a practice facility as well as their game venue,” Rubertone said.
Morgan added this facility will accurately reflect Quinnipiac’s athletic standing.
“This is a division one facility,” he said.
Rubertone said the closest neighbor to the complex is over 900 feet away, and the road is not through any residential area, so there is little or no opposition from others.
“We always anticipate public interest,” Rubertone said.
The complex would include “all of the amenities you would expect [such as] concessions [and a] team store,” Rubertone said.
Rubertone said the money for the complex was obtained through fundraising.
“We’re in the process of evaluating our advertising opportunities,” he said.