(Nicole Raucheisen/WOUB)

New Rennovations for Bird Arena

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The Ohio University hockey team is looking forward to some upcoming renovations to Bird arena. It is the first time there has been any kind of serious talk about renovations. Several things are in need of upgrades, including the ice compressor, home and away locker-rooms, storage units and bleachers.

The ice compressor they have currently is over 50 years old and hasn’t been updated since the 1950s. It is too old to function properly and therefore leaves the players with too soft of ice during the warmer months of August through November. Many of the players say it is not enjoyable to skate on the ice during those months. A new ice compressor would help to better chill the ice to keep it in proper condition.

The locker rooms are another issue. “The guys on the other team who come to visit us just end up dressing before the game in the hallway by the pool outside,” goalie Aaron Alkema said. “Their locker room is not even close to big enough to fit all of them.”

Currently, the sides of the arena go up to just six rows of bleachers at the top. This leads to many people crammed or standing in the corners. It isn’t unusual to see lines out the doors of the arena and tickets sold out due to the limited capacity the rink can hold. Besides more seating for fans, Bird also needs things such as a new HVAC system and upgrades to the building’s roof.

Coach Sean Hogan says nothing Is certain yet as to when these renovations will take place. What is certain, however, is that if Ohio is to become an NCAA team, they would need to build an entire new rink. The ice rink’s dimensions are just 190 feet by 85 feet, which is exactly 10 feet shorter than the standard size ice arena.

Coach also said these renovations would not only benefit the hockey team, but several other organizations that use Bird, such as the synchronized skating team, figure skating team and youth hockey leagues. More details on these renovations will be decided within the next coming months.