PSU’s New Ice Arena: Open for Learning and Fun

September 10th, 2010 by Adam

With the snip of a grand opening ribbon, skaters are finally sweeping across the ice at Plymouth State University’s Hanaway Rink,

ribbon cutting
L-r, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen, Dr. Susan Lynch and Ed MacKay cut the ribbon officially opening PSU’s new Ice Arena. Photo courtesy Daryl Carlson, Laconia Citizen

a $16 million dollar facility that opened to the public this week. Hundreds of youth and adult hockey players, figure skaters and recreational skaters from central New Hampshire now have access to the facility in Holderness, which also serves as a teaching facility for instruction and research in ice activities and wellness, a home for PSU men’s and women’s ice hockey teams, and a site for student recreation.

At a September 10 ribbon cutting, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen welcomed dozens of visitors and dignitaries, noting the facility embodies environmental sustainability, academic excellence and community recreation.

“It is a facility that we hope is going to be thoroughly integrated with our communities and our region,” said Steen. “It is also built on our beliefs and values; environmental sustainability and health and wellness.”

The PSU Ice Arena is built to meet LEED Silver standards with a sophisticated geothermal heating/cooling design which maximizes energy conservation opportunities. The design will reduce energy consumption more than 28 percent over a traditional arena.The combination of geothermal and the capture of waste heat generated by ice making equipment will provide the heat for the facility thereby removing reliance on traditional fuel-based heating system.

New Hampshire’s First Lady, Dr. Susan Lynch, said she was proud to participate in the arena’s opening ceremony.

“What a wonderful day for the University, the state, the North Country, for all of us,” Lynch said. “This is such a fabulous facility…thanks to all of you who worked so hard and gave so generously to make this dream come true.”

USNH Chancellor Ed MacKay said the project illustrates a vision for the future of Plymouth State.

“This arena is important for many reasons, including its clear statement that Plymouth is grounded in the community and serves as a genuine gateway to the Lakes Region and the North Country,” said MacKay.

Meaghan Colligan skating
PSU student Meaghan Colligan figure skates on the Hanaway Rink ice

The opening ceremonies included figure skating exhibitions by PSU students and skating clubs. Figure skater Meaghan Colligan of Pembroke, Mass, a sophomore business administration major, said the new facility is a welcome addition to campus.

“I love skating here,” said Colligan. “I’m so happy there is a rink here; it was one of deciding factors in going to school here.”

The Ice Arena is the first phase of PSU’s new ALLWell Center complex (Active Living, Learning, and Wellness). Future phases of the ALLWell Center will house classrooms, research laboratories, lecture halls, and multipurpose activity laboratories for academic and athletic programs. A new field house will provide additional instructional space. An aquatic center will enhance capacity for instruction, community programming, and serve as a qualified competition venue. The Foley Gymnasium eventually will be relocated to a new building that will house instructional and laboratory facilities, an athletic training suite, and strength and conditioning centers for students and the community.

The entire project is designed so that on-going activities are not interrupted as new facilities come on line and old facilities are removed.

The Eugene and Joan Savage Welcome Center at the PSU Ice Arena features an expansive lobby and facilities that will provide an attractive meeting place for prospective students, parents, and visitors to the campus and towns of Plymouth and Holderness and the wider region.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or