St. Cloud, MN – In this age of rampant and lavish spending on athletic facilities it’s not unusual to see typical spending in the $50 to $100 million or more range. So, in the whole scheme of things, a project for $600,000 is a tiny construction project. But, you don’t measure the worth of a project by its cost but rather the utility and worth of the project to the user. For St. Cloud State University men’s and women’s hockey, the completion of the Huskies Hockey Performance Center (also referred to as the Strength and Conditioning Center) ranks right up there on the list of priorities. The project which has been bandied about in one form or another for the past decade finally came to fruition with it’s completion this past week.
“Since my arrival, I met with all of the current players and many of them asked about the strength and conditioning center, as it was discussed during their recruiting process. We wanted to make sure these discussions and promises were honored” said men’s coach Brett Larson. “So many people have worked tirelessly to get St. Cloud State Hockey to the top of the college hockey world, now it’s our job to keep it there. I really believe that this program will continue to move in the right direction and this project will be a big part of that.” He further stated that this project ranked at the very top of his list. “Many times you only get once chance to do things right and through the help of our former players, alumni and fans we were able to complete this project.” Both coaches Brett Larson and Mike Gibbons were especially pleased by the unity of former St. Cloud State University players in pushing this project along.
St. Cloud State University Athletic Director Heather Weems told me “the completion of the Huskies Hockey Performance Center comes at a critical time for our programs. Recruitment and retention of high character student-athletes who can compete in the top conferences in college hockey requires they see St. Cloud State as a place they can develop and hone their skills on the ice while working toward a meaningful degree. This facility demonstrates our commitment to our programs’ and student-athletes’ success at the highest level of the game. The response of our alumni and friends to the fundraising goal was tremendous and further shows their belief in the value of Huskies Hockey.”
Of great satisfaction is that 100% of the funding for this project came from private donations. Most of the donations, ranging from $100 to a single donation in excess of $100,000 were specifically earmarked for this project. A small percentage of the funding came from excess dollars from a previous locker room project. Last fall, as the target date to have the funding in place was approaching, a grass roots effort by alumni and fans helped reach and surpass the needed target in order to have the project completed prior to the 2019 school year. In appreciation, all donors will be honored with a plaque in the performance center entrance way.
The Huskies Hockey Performance Center is located outside the men’s and women’s locker rooms at ground level in the southwest portion of the HBNHC. This impressive training area bleeds SCSU with it’s color scheme, wall murals and the abundance of ST-C logos throughout. It includes new weight room equipment, rowing machines, exercise bikes, flat screen TV’s, enhanced sound system, puck shooting gallery and a short sprint and stretching area. With hockey training going through an evolution it’s equipped with all the latest amenities needed to train today’s hockey player. The completion of this project supplements the team’s locker room renovations that have been done the past several years.
With players returning to campus the week of August 19, they’ll have the luxury of a brand new strength and conditioning area for the new season. With a grin, coach Mike Gibbons acknowledged “it’s always nice to have something new for the players to experience each year they return.”