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Donation will fund replacement for CC's Honnen Ice Arena


An artist's sketch of Robson Arena, which will replace Honnen Ice Arena. - COURTESY COLORADO COLLEGE
  • Courtesy Colorado College
  • An artist's sketch of Robson Arena, which will replace Honnen Ice Arena.

Thanks to an $8 million gift from an alum, Colorado College plans to build a new hockey facility where a motel now stands on the south side of campus.

That means Honnen Ice Arena, which lies just west of the Worner Campus Center, eventually will be torn down, as will the CC Inn, which now houses 60 students and two resident assistants.

(The East Campus Housing Community, with space for 154 students, will be finished in July 2017.)

Many details aren't yet known, and the project must comply with city standards for building height, architecture and streetscape. The arena will have seating capacity for 900, but no additional parking is planned right away, says CC spokeswoman Leslie Weddell.

The generous contribution from Edward J. Robson, a 1954 graduate and former CC hockey player, allows CC to move forward with its master plan to extend the campus southward.

CC's hockey team will practice in the new facility but continue to play home games at the Broadmoor World Arena.

Expanding south is made possible by CC's ownership of most property in the city block bounded by Cache La Poudre Street on the north, Dale Street on the south, Nevada Avenue on the east and Tejon Street on the west. Only a 3,700-square-foot tract with a four-plex apartment building, which fronts to Dale, isn't owned by CC.

The CC Inn will be razed to make way for the new ice rink, with groundbreaking slated for the 2018-19 academic year. Upon completion, Honnen will be demolished.

"It's currently the least energy-efficient building on campus," Weddell says.

CC spent $55,000 repairing Honnen's roof and installing 13,000 succulents this summer to improve its energy efficiency, Weddell says.

"The roof is transplantable and we anticipate relocating it," she says via email.

"The relocation of the ice arena provides an opportunity to create an open space around Cossitt Hall and amphitheater," immediately north of Honnen, she says. "When the Honnen facility was built in 1963, it obstructed the amphitheater and left many of Cossitt's rooms dark and obscured. Cossitt Hall really is one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, and the removal of Honnen will open up the area around it."

The new rink, estimated to cost about $10 million, will employ sustainable building practices and materials to help CC reach sustainable energy goals.

Besides giving CC's varsity hockey team a new practice venue, the new Robson Arena will serve intramural sports, club teams, student activities and community hockey leagues.

Robson, an Arizona businessman, said in a release the new arena will give CC hockey players a high-quality place to practice, and CC's head hockey coach Mike Haviland called it a game-changer for the hockey program.

Last season, the hockey Tigers posted a record of six wins, 29 losses and one tie.

Men's hockey and women's soccer are CC's only NCAA Division I major-college programs. In other sports, the school competes in the NCAA's Division III (no athletic scholarships).

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