Tiger hockey gets extreme locker room makeover

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A. Sue Weisler

The RIT men’s and women’s hockey teams are enjoying the added space resulting from the latest renovations to Ritter Arena.

Imagine living in a modest but outdated ranch-style home one day, and the next day, a new state-of-the-art, ultra-modern domicile three times the size of your previous residence. That is what RIT’s men’s and women’s hockey teams are experiencing this season, as the university announces the completion of the Ritter Arena locker-room expansion project.

The one-story, 12,000-square-foot locker- room addition is located on the east side of the current 52,125-square-foot arena. It houses the team locker rooms and coaches facilities, as well as supporting hockey activities like treatment space, equipment storage and equipment repair.

The east fašade—facing Gordon Field House—is a brick finish with vertical openings penetrating the brick at regular intervals, while the other exposed walls are a cast concrete. Skylight wells on the roof provide natural light.

“It’s great to have a state-of-the-art locker-room facility,” says men’s hockey coach Wayne Wilson. “We’ve always had one of the best game-night rink atmospheres in college hockey. Now we have one of the best locker rooms.”

The original locker rooms were added as part of a Ritter Arena renovation in 1988. Those rooms, which are nestled under the arena seating on the east side, were overcrowded and no longer commensurate with the Division I hockey program. The new locker rooms allow the existing locker rooms to be used by visiting teams and provide sufficient locker room facilities for RIT to host hockey tournaments in the future.

“The addition of the new locker rooms shows a commitment from the school and athletic department to run the hockey programs as a first-class operation,” says Scott McDonald, women’s hockey coach. “I have no doubt this is one of the finest locker room facilities in college hockey.”

The players agree.

“It’s awesome and great for the guys,” says business major and second-year forward Ben Lynch, a native of Blaine, Minn. “It makes you want to come to the rink early, hang out with the guys before and after practice. It’s everything we could have hoped for.”

“Wow,” says Ariane Yokoyama, a third-year diagnostic medical sonography major and women’s hockey assistant captain from Van Nuys, Calif. “The locker room is amazing—even better than what I expected.”