St. Olaf to begin ice arena construction

An architectural rendering of the St. Olaf Ice Arena; the public entrances will open into the Tostrud/Skoglund entry corridor.

St. Olaf College has surpassed its $6 million funding threshold to initiate construction of its on-campus ice arena. The Boldt Company will start building this winter; the project will be completed by spring 2019.

This project is being made possible by more than 125 alumni, parents, and friends of the college who have committed $4.5 million in capital gifts and pledges in support of the project, in addition to $1.5 million in capital expenditures from the college. St. Olaf will continue to fundraise for the $8 million arena as part of its $200 million For the Hill and Beyond comprehensive campaign.

The ice arena will be located inside Skoglund Fieldhouse — directly accessible from both Skoglund and Tostrud Center main entrances. The updated design includes an NHL-size rink, seating for 800 fans, locker rooms for varsity hockey, and other ice-related program spaces. New locker rooms will also be built for St. Olaf’s varsity baseball, softball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer programs. Courts inside Tostrud Center were already resurfaced last weekend to accommodate St. Olaf’s varsity tennis teams who currently use Skoglund Fieldhouse.

“We are incredibly excited to start building — I am grateful for the generous support we have from donors to do this now,” says St. Olaf athletic director Ryan Bowles. “In a little over a year, St. Olaf will have an operating ice arena that benefits a number of our athletic programs and our campus community.”

St. Olaf is initiating construction in advance of rising material and labor costs due to post-hurricane reconstruction. Locating the rink inside Skoglund reuses an existing building envelope that already has the required utility infrastructure. The project utilizes other strategies supporting cost-efficiency and sustainability such as a multistage ammonia refrigeration system and heat reclamation. Funds formerly used to rent ice will cover rink management.

The arena builds on other facility updates recently supported by donors including Holland Hall, Klein Field at Manitou, Tom Porter Hall, and a new golf training facility.

The Bring Ice Home initiative has reached 75 percent of the college’s funding goal and construction is starting. Be a part of the final push to the goal! Learn more about making a gift as well as naming opportunities for seats and other spaces.