BEVERLY, Mass. – After more than 10 years of trying to partner with city and local groups to bring an ice arena to Beverly, Massachusetts, Endicott College constructed a state of the art ice arena on its oceanside campus. On October 3rd, the College dedicated the 10 million dollar facility to NHL legend and 21-year veteran for the Boston Bruins, Raymond J. Bourque.
In making the decision to recognize Bourque, College President Dr. Richard E. Wylie said, "Ray is one of Boston's greatest sports figures, both on and off the ice. He exemplifies all that is great about sport and athleticism. His strong personal and professional values, skills, belief and commitment to others make him a role model whose name and reputation should be preserved for generations. Endicott is proud to honor such a man."
Bourque, a resident of the North Shore for over 30 years, expressed a strong desire to inspire our youth, students, and the greater community. "This arena will affect the lives of many individuals, starting with the youth of the North Shore of Boston. This is the primary motivation for engaging with Endicott College, which has proven it values community," said Bourque. "I am honored and have been grateful for the chance to actively assist in the construction fundraising, the funding of youth scholarships, and the educating of our youth. As an athlete, I have always valued teamwork, leadership, dedication, passion, and a strong sense of community."
With the construction of the Raymond J. Bourque Arena, Endicott moves from 12 years as a club team to an NCAA Division III intercollegiate program for both men and women. According to Endicott Director of Athletics, Dr. Brian Wylie, "We are thrilled to be elevating our men's and women's teams to NCAA DIII status and joining the rich tradition of ice hockey not just in this region but nationally. Words can't describe the excitement we have in building these programs in such a phenomenal facility as the Raymond J. Bourque Arena."
The Raymond J. Bourque Arena's completion comes during a period of heightened construction over the past several years for Endicott as the College has built and renovated several facilities dedicated to academia, residence life, food service, athletics, and other areas of the campus. Each one of these major projects has been entrusted to Windover Construction, a local outfit based out of Beverly that has helped to change the look and feel of Endicott College.
"Windover Construction has built or renovated all the campus projects for the past ten years. Selecting them to design and build the arena was an easy decision," said President Wylie. "The completed arena is a testimony to that trust. The Raymond J. Bourque Arena is not just an ice rink, it is a substantial facility with state of the art features. The arena also has a removable floor that can be laid over the ice and used for concerts, lectures, graduations, and ceremonies."
The first few weeks of the arena's schedule has been occupied mainly with area youth leagues, daily public skate hours for Endicott College and the greater community, adult drop-in hockey, freestyle figure skating, and youth stick time. The Endicott Community eagerly awaits the start of the 2015-16 Endicott men's and women's ice hockey seasons as official practice for both programs begins onOctober 15th with the first home games being held on Saturday, November 7th.