Thursday, May 30, 2024

Memorial Hall renovations approaching end

The Memorial Hall gymnasium got a facelift in the renovations, complete with updated branding.

JAYNE SMITH / Cardinal Points

Memorial Hall’s lobby was a focus of the renovations, making the facility accessible to everyone. Students will have access to a brand-new 12,000 square foot fitness center, a massive upgrade.


By Kamiko Chamble

After many years of Memorial Hall being worked on and renovated, the project is finally coming to an end. The first of three phases of the project started in fall 2019. Phase one alone took three to four years to complete, stunted by COVID-19. 

Memorial Hall was first built in 1962, 61 years ago. That’s six full decades without the building ever being renovated, touched or worked on.

“We finally got some great funding from the state to support us,” Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Blaine said.

The new renovations cost exactly $34,841,937 in total. The design alone cost $3,092,275, then phase one of construction cost $12,450,690; group three of phase one in the project cost $500,000. Phase two of the construction part of it cost $17,298,972 and group three of phase two cost $1,500,000, according to Chief of Staff of the Office of the President Ken Knelly.

Fitness Center Director Matt Salvatore and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Mike Howard were the biggest driving forces to this project. 

“There’s been so many people who have contributed to make this a reality. Our Director Mike Howard was a big advocate for this project from day one from when we first started during the summer of 2016, he’s been involved behind the scenes every step along the way,” Assistant Director of Athletics Brian Savard said.

The people who use Memorial Hall the most are excited.

“The new gym is a full face lift, we’re getting everything we’ve wanted. We got brand new flooring, we got the new painted lines for the gym with the new branding. We actually just did a rebranding several years ago,” Head Women’s Basketball Coach Ben Sarraf said.

“We got new baskets, new bleachers, new lighting, and the construction workers removed everything that they deemed harmful, so the whole building got a new facelift or the whole gym did at least.”

With the new renovations, Memorial Hall has received a new lobby, a recreational gym, a downstairs changing area, hall of fame area, an athlete-only strength and conditioning room, new doctors office and hydro rooms, new sports medicine suite, a group activity center, locker rooms, new offices, two hot tubs, a 12,000-square foot fitness center and a rock climbing wall. We also got a new weight room that used to be our pool, many people don’t know that our school even had a pool. 

All of these new renovations may seem like they only benefit members of Plattsburgh State Athletics, but they benefit our general students just as much. 

“Here’s a good one for everyone to know: They’re getting a million dollars worth of new equipment in the entire building, every part. That’s athletes, the regular student body, so all equipment is going to be brand-spanking new,” Sarraf said.

Regular students now have new athletic opportunities. Sarraf shared that there’s going to be a large space on the second floor, they just haven’t decided what exactly to do with it yet.

There’s room for more clubs in there, new classes, and it will help the school when it is trying to recruit new students or athletes.

“It’s definitely a huge opportunity for athletes and the campus because it is a new space for us to advertise as a campus, it makes us more competitive to recruits for both athletics and non-athletics. Even for the general student population, now having the rec gym allows more time and space for athletes and non-athletes to utilize the space for clubs and things have more availability and time in there,” Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Kelsea Healis said. “The general students can use it for basketball, volleyball, whatever they’d like. Our fitness center as well offers a lot to the general student population”. 

The final results are expected to be unveiled in spring 2024.


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