Regents want UMD hockey on campus
Hockey should be on campus," was the view expressed by University of Minnesota Regent Anthony Baraga. The subject came up at the Board of Regents Facilities Committee meeting Thursday at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldog Sports Cent...
Hockey should be on campus," was the view expressed by University of Minnesota Regent Anthony Baraga.
The subject came up at the Board of Regents Facilities Committee meeting Thursday at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
The Bulldog Sports Center was one of several facilities issues presented to the board by university officials.
The proposed $12.5 million project would provide home ice for the women's hockey program, a practice site for both teams, a conditioning facility for all athletes and a venue for other campus events.
The project was not funded by the Legislature last time around, but the concept is still alive. The teams currently play at the DECC, which will be making $1.7 million worth of improvements -- mostly off ice -- to accommodate program needs.
However, according to vice chancellor Greg Fox, the DECC is talking about having UMD extend its lease in return for those improvements. The DECC wants a 10-year lease, and UMD currently has four years.
"I think we have to look at this thing long and hard," Baraga said.
Students have told him they would like to see it on campus, and he favors taking a long-range look at the situation.
"It's a quality of life issue for the students," said Regent David Metzen. "I am very opposed to a 10-year lease unless there is a significant fix-up to the DECC."
He said he was concerned about Duluth being competitive in the long term in the WCHA.
Fox said there were some short-term things to be done to get a clear vision of whether the on-campus opportunity for a Bulldog Center still exists. He added that changes at the DECC will make a dramatic improvement in the behind-the-ice life for both men's and women's hockey programs.
Board members were excited about UMD's arrangement with the Duluth Transit Authority to provide bus passes for students and staff. About 1,000 riders a day are using the system, and officials hope to double that number during the three-year arrangement.
The impact of more students using mass transit was part of discussions on parking, housing and the Kirby Plaza Project. The plaza project will convert the former library building into a multi-use area. Plans call for a transit hub, child care center, convenience store, bookstore, food court and some other services.
Phase one will cost about $8 million and work could start next summer. The DTA will provide some funding for the child care center. A second phase of the project will convert some of the building to classrooms to accommodate future growth.
On Friday, the full board was scheduled to review University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof's $762 million six-year capital plan.