The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

‘It’s time’: Clark Athletic Center to be renovated

The renovation cost for Harold T. Clark Athletic Center is estimated to be between $8 million – $10 million.
Utica University announced the decision to discontinue all its aquatics programs on June 13, 2023.
Luke Reed
Utica University announced the decision to discontinue all its aquatics programs on June 13, 2023.

When Utica University discounted its aquatics sports in June, former President Laura Casamento announced plans to repurpose the pool area as part of a larger renovation plan that would take place in the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center. 

According to the Vice President of Facilities and Emergency Management Shad Crowe, the drainage is in preparation for a complete renovation of the athletic center. 

“There are twenty-five athletic teams at Utica University,” Crowe said. “The Clark Athletic Center has limited space, and we are trying to re-evaluate the entire athletic center to try to determine what the future holds regarding space utilization. We want to accommodate not only our entire athletics program but the Utica University community as a whole.”

Conversations surrounding the renovation of the athletic center have been happening for some time, according to Crowe. 

“Originally, the conversation had been happening sporadically before I even arrived here,” Crowe said. “A lot of it is pretty old. The building was built in the 1970s, and while not everything in it is from the 1970s, some of it needs to be renovated. There are infrastructural things there that people don’t see, behind the walls and on top of the building, that really need attention.” 

Updating and renovating the building is one of the University’s top priorities, Crowe said. The first step the University plans on taking is hiring engineers to survey the building and then move to request for proposals from engineers in the next 30 days. 

“Part of the proposal will be giving a significant engineering study about the entire structure and its capability to be renovated and reassigned, in addition to the cost for all of those changes and upgrades,” he said. 

The cost is something Vice President for Advancement Amy Lindner plans to tackle through fundraising. 

“We are in the midst of a five-year, $30 million capital campaign called ‘Thrive On,’ ” Linder said. “One of the primary buckets of that campaign is the Clark Athletic Center.”

The athletic center was supposed to have been renovated before now, according to Lindner, however, the COVID-19 pandemic caused plans to change.

“We originally had a budget of about $5 million for the project,” she said. “The initial plan was to build an addition to the Clark Athletic Center to provide additional locker room space. Then, COVID hit, and with that came supply chain issues and an increased price tag of around $8-9 million.” 

After taking a step back during the pandemic, fundraising is now set to resume, though not until a formal proposal is put together and presented, Lindner said. 

“Since we don’t have a plan to put in front of donors, it is very hard to ask them to donate to something that they don’t know what it looks like,” Lindner said. “Once that Request for Proposal (RFP) is out and we have the feedback from the architectural design, I think that fundraising efforts will begin in earnest.”

Currently, Lindner estimates the budget for the project to be between $5 million – $8 million.

With ideas being thrown around about what to do with the pool space, some of them included  conversations about replacing it, redesigning the space for something else or building separate buildings, Crowe said. 

“Depending on what may or may not be done, others may have access to the space if appropriate,” Utica’s Athletic Director Dave Fontaine said. “Some examples of current shared utilization would be our gym classroom, the Kunath Fitness Center or the Todd and Jen Hutton Sports and Recreation Center.  Although those areas fall under the umbrella of athletics, others have access to the facilities.  

For right now the facilities department is hoping to present a proposal to the campus by June or July, according to Crowe.  

“It’s time, time for a total evaluation,” Crowe said. “There are massive repairs that need to be made and considered.”


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About the Contributors
Mickale Thompson
Mickale Thompson, Editor-In-Chief
Class Year: Senior Dual Major: Communication and Media & Business Management Previous Position: Contributing Writer (2021), Staff Writer (2021), Special Assignments Reporter (2022), Features Editor (2023), News Editor (2023)
Kayden Lamphere
Kayden Lamphere, Special Assignment Reporter
Luke Reed
Luke Reed, Staff Photographer

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