Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pegula Center Tidbits

It was probably pretty easy to miss last week, with a pair of revenge games at hand for the Icers (or if you don't obsess over these things), but Hockey Czar Joe Battista keeps leaking Pegula Center details.

Yes, I'm calling it the Pegula Center, just to get a head start. "Arena" doesn't sound right with "Pegula" ending in an A, and "Pavilion" (one I've heard a couple of times) just sounds cheesy with the alliteration. Besides Penn State's current facility, the only other hockey facility I can think of with "Pavilion" is a shameless computer plug. "Pegula Center" just sounds best to me, so that's what it is on here until it actually has a name.

Anyway, Battista's first info drop was on the Big Ten Network's Tailgate show, which broadcast from Penn State on October 8. In case you missed it, here's the much-anticipated segment featuring the Icers. Here's Battista at the 1:33 mark:
"There's 1100 seats [at the Ice Pavilion], 1400 with standing room only. In the new building, there will be 6000, and hopefully with standing room only 6500...and maybe more."
Hmmm...sounds to me like we're creeping up from the 5000-6000 number given by Tim Curley at the announcement press conference back on September 17. Hopefully it's due to some great feedback and interest early in the process.

Battista (with a first assist going to Penn State president Graham Spanier) gave us another cookie in the October 11 Daily Collegian, this time laying out a construction timeline.
Battista said the Request For Proposals (RFP) have been sent out to multiple architects and all have responded with their qualifications. He said the possible choices have worked with Penn State in the past, and all have experience with ice arena design.
“We’ve cast the nets very broadly to begin with,” Spanier said.
Spanier said the Board of Trustees Architectural Selection Committee will narrow the choices to 12 before selecting three-to-five finalists to visit State College and make a formal presentation. The committee is made up of Board of Trustees members, an architecture professor, a student and representation from the Office of the Physical Plant (OPP).
Battista said the finalists will be notified by Oct. 18. They will make their presentations in mid-November and then the board will decide.
“They’ve given us their qualifications. Based on their past work, on their thoughts, and their philosophies, we’ll decide which one is the best fit for what we’re trying to do,” Battista said. “It’s exciting, I can tell you.”
A few weeks after the decision on the architect, the board will follow the same process again to decide on a construction team. Battista said they hope to break ground in the next 9-12 months, in either late-summer or early-fall 2011.
Battista also reiterated the necessity of the Pegula Center's versatility:
“To me, we have to make this thing pay for itself,” Battista said. “So we have to have enough locker rooms to be able to host a lot of tournaments. We want to be able to have lockers for public use and areas for youth and high school area programs to store their equipment. We want the intramural players to have a place. That’s how you make money in a facility like this.”
As exciting as the announcement of the facility was, it will be just as exciting to see the details continue to trickle out over the coming months.

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