A renovation of Patrick allows for increased health and wellness space for the student body.
At its February board meeting, the University of Vermont unveiled an approximately $80 million plan to overhaul the Patrick-Forbush-Gutterson Athletic Complex that features both new construction and significant renovations to the existing facility, built in 1963.
After hearing a detailed presentation and discussing the project in three separate committee meetings, the board supported the project concept and agreed to a next step, approving $750,000 to create a detailed schematic design of the proposed facility.
Tom Gustafson, vice president of university relations and administration, Jeff Schulman, athletic director, and architect Colleen McKenna of Cannon Design took trustees through the presentation. The facility, trustees learned, will:
• Enhance and consolidate the athletic complex's health and wellness space in an 86,000-sq. ft. (7,989.6 sq m) health and wellness zone that will remake the north end of Patrick. In the current facility, 15,000 sq. ft. (1,393.5 sq m) of space are dedicated to health and wellness.
• Create a new Events Center for basketball competition and practice. The center also will accommodate health, wellness, academic, social, cultural and athletic programming elements. The space will have a capacity of 3,241 for games and 3,989 for events. The new Events Center would be built in what is currently a parking lot between Gutterson and Patrick.
• Preserve the character and feel of Gutterson Fieldhouse, one of college hockey's most iconic arenas, but significantly upgrade it with the addition of chair-back seating, improved spectator circulation, and upgraded player development areas.
• Significantly improve internal circulation in the building, with a much-simplified layout of halls and walkways.
"The need to upgrade and expand our facilities to better accommodate UVM's health, fitness, wellness, academic, cultural, social, athletic, events and related programs has been discussed for many years," said Gustafson. "The concept we presented to the board reflects the principles of earlier concepts but moves us significantly past them in meeting the needs of our students and the UVM community.
"This concept is realistic, achievable and, very importantly, allows UVM's programs and facilities to remain on campus under the control and ownership of the university," he said.
"The new athletic complex is a highly efficient concept that includes significant re-use of existing space and limited new construction," said Schulman. "It will dramatically enhance campus health and wellness and position the varsity sports program for sustained competitive excellence for many years to come."
The new facility will be paid with a combination of private gifts and university resources raised through bonding. Construction could begin as early as 2019.