You are here

Sense of Place

Multipurpose arena at Bentley University

University Business, July 2018
  • NOT JUST FUN AND GAMES—Aside from hockey, students use the arena as a “living lab” where they analyze the building’s energy data, complete marketing projects and create sales plans for season tickets.
  • NOT JUST FUN AND GAMES—Aside from hockey, students use the arena as a “living lab” where they analyze the building’s energy data, complete marketing projects and create sales plans for season tickets.
  • NOT JUST FUN AND GAMES—An in-house media control room (below) is operated by Bentley students in partnership with faculty.

To celebrate its bicentennial in 2018, Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, built a 76,000-square-foot arena that meets the needs of its Division I hockey program while also serving the entire campus community.

CHALLENGE: The university formed a committee of 10 department heads whose students would use the facility. This group met monthly throughout the 14-month construction process to discuss how the arena could benefit their departments.

“It was a big time commitment,” says J. Andrew Shepardson, dean of students and vice president of student affairs. “But it was worth it.”

The committee felt strongly that the facility would serve as a place where all students, faculty and alumni could congregate.

SOLUTION: The university completed the 2,000-seat arena this past February 12, just in time for its first games on February 16, 17 and 24. For community events—such as the February 18 comedy show featuring Wayne Bradley—the university places panels over the ice, which expands seating to 3,400.

“We were thrilled that we could change from ice to floor paneling as fast as we did,” says Shepardson.

Water in the building is heated by energy that’s used to create the rink’s ice. Other sustainability features include 1,400 rooftop solar panels that generate 40 percent of the building’s electricity needs.

Science students study the data from these panels in the facility’s media lab, which English and media studies majors also use.

“We didn’t anticipate that the arena would be as much a part of our academics as it currently is,” says Shepardson.

COST:  $45 million

COMPLETED: February 2018

PROJECT TEAM: Project architect: Architectural Resources Cambridge (Mass.); construction manager: Suffolk Construction (Mass.); owner representative: CSL Consulting (Mass.)