Maxcy Ice Arena's $8.7 million renovation underway at SUNY Potsdam


POTSDAM, N.Y.—Nearly 40 year's after Maxcy Hall Ice Arena's opening, SUNY Potsdam has begun major renovations to the facility. This year-long, $8.7 million project will feature several new amenities and a brand new ice surface for the Bears, students and community members when it reopens in the fall of 2013. 

"We're tremendously excited as we witness the beginning phase of our ice rink renovation project,” said SUNY Potsdam Director of Athletics Jim Zalacca. “This will certainly serve as a huge boost to our own men's and women's intercollegiate programs, but additionally will mean extensive programming opportunities for our campus and extended Potsdam communities, certain to provide a full and enriching ice skating experience. When this state of the art renovation is completed next fall, it will provide our countless number of Bears hockey supporters the opportunity to enjoy an exciting night of college hockey in a comfortable, fan friendly atmosphere.”

With the changes being made, Maxcy will continue to be one of the leading athletics venues in the North Country and the Northeast as it hosts recreational skating, youth hockey, and both Bears' hockey teams.

In early August, the contracting company Bette & Cring started work on Maxcy's renovations. These major alterations are the first to building since Maxcy Hall's construction in 1972. The biggest changes to the arena include a new high efficiency refrigeration system, ice surface, boards and glass as well as expanded team benches. For the fans, the most important improvements include a new climate control system and new seating. Permanent individual seating will replace the lower section of bleachers, while new bleachers will be installed in the upper level. The bleachers will be retractable to allow for multipurpose use. Balcony seating areas will help to expand the fan capacity to 1,124.

In addition to the fan accommodations, the Bears' hockey teams and coaches will be able to enjoy new and modern team locker rooms, coaches' offices and a center ice player entrance. A locker room for referees will also be added. The new enlarged press box will be constructed above the team benches, putting scorekeeping staff and media right on top the action.

Bears men's coach Chris Bernard and women's coach Jay Green are understandably pleased to see the project underway.

“I'm exceedingly excited about our rink renovation project and all that it can generate for the continued development of our program,” said Bernard. “It will give us an opportunity to provide all of our current players and future recruits a playing experience second to none.”

Green, who served as Potsdam's facilities director before assuming the women's head coaching duties, agreed with Bernard.

“We look forward to the completion of renovations at Maxcy Hall, as well as
a new beginning for both of our hockey programs,” Green said. “The new look is a long awaited upgrade for the arena and will compliment all of our athletic facilities here at Potsdam. In my opinion, we rank among the top universities in regards to overall facilities in the SUNYAC Conference.”

Due to the renovation, the Bears hockey teams are preparing for a year away from home. The men will play their home games at Massena Arena in neighboring Massena, N.Y. The women will stay closer to home, moving just across town to Clarkson University's Cheel Arena.

The Bears men open up their 2012-13 campaign against Saint Michael's College in Massena on Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. Potsdam's women travel to Newport, R.I. the following day to battle Salve Regina in their season opener at 7 p.m.