Maine Sports Commission Announces New College Venue
8 Feb, 2021
As part of its commitment to provide all students with the opportunity to lead healthy and active lifestyles, Colby College announced that it has opened its new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center.
The 350,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building is the most advanced and comprehensive NCAA D-III facility in the country, and one in a series of major investments by the College to create and support best-in-class programs and initiatives. It was made possible in large part from the generous philanthropic support of the Harold Alfond Foundation, a longtime contributor to Colby College.
“The new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center is an extension of Colby’s mission to develop and educate students holistically and help them compete in and out of the classroom to achieve excellence in all areas of their lives,” said Mike Wisecup, vice president and Harold Alfond Director of Athletics at Colby. “Whether it’s varsity sports or individual fitness initiatives, competitive or recreational athletics, an active and healthy lifestyle is a critical part of the student experience at Colby. The goal of the new facility is to support that experience at the highest level possible and provide the best resources available.”
The Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, which is located at the north end of campus across from Johnson Pond, has a wide range of unique venues. Key among them are an aquatics center with the only Olympic-sized Myrtha pool in Maine, an ice arena with year-round regulation ice, the Margaret M. Crook Center with three regulation-length basketball/volleyball courts, and the open-air O’Neil Atrium at the center of the building. Additional highlights include:
- The three-level Boulos Family Fitness Center that includes a mix of free weights, cables, selectorize and cardio equipment, open areas for stretching and training, as well as dedicated fitness studios and a mindfulness and meditation room
- An indoor competition center (track/field house) with a six-lane track, regulation tennis courts, and field-event accommodations for pole vault, high jump, long/triple jump, and shot put
- A squash center with nine championship regulation courts
- A 42-foot tall climbing and bouldering wall with terrain ranging from easy vertical to more difficult articulated areas
- A dedicated athletic trainer’s suite with hydrotherapy pools as well as exam rooms and a triage room
Supporting Waterville and Central Maine
The new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center highlights Colby’s commitment to driving the economic resurgence of Waterville and Central Maine. To that end, the ability to eventually invite more teams and events to campus—from NESCAC to international competitions—will have a significant positive impact on the local economy.
Just as important, once the pandemic is contained the center will expand on Colby’s long history of being a partner, steward, and resource for community events.
“This beautiful new building will eventually provide an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate and support athletics, which through its focus on teamwork and healthy competition can positively impact the lives of young people,” said Wisecup. “This was always the core intent of the building’s namesake, Harold Alfond, and Colby will continue to honor that purpose.”
Construction of the $200-million Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, which broke ground in October 2017, was completed on time, and of the more than 80 contractors involved with the work, nearly 50 were Maine-based. Additionally, almost $120 million of the overall cost of the project went to businesses within the state.
Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America's most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby offers a rigorous academic program rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 58 majors or developing their own. Colby's innovative and ambitious campaign, Dare Northward, is supporting deeper connections between the college and the world as well as a fully inclusive experience for all Colby students. Colby is home to a community of 2,000 dedicated and diverse students from more than 80 countries. Its Waterville, Maine, location provides unique access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.