A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

By Scott Cole / November / December 2002
June 28th, 2007
Meehan Auditorium, the forty-year home of Brown hockey, just got a $4.3 million facelift and a new name. It will now be known as the Pollard Family Rink at Meehan Auditorium, in honor of Jeannette Pollard '48 and Bill Pollard '50, whose million-dollar gift was crucial in getting the renovation project rolling. The balance of the money for the project was raised through a capital drive coordinated by the Brown Sports Foundation and the men's and women's Brown hockey associations. Although the renovations were completed in mid-October, Sports Foundation executive director Ron Dalgliesh reports that the foundation still needs to raise $600,000 to finish paying the renovation bills.

The facelift has converted an aging building into an updated gem, says Director of Athletics David Roach. "I think we've gone from the bottom half of the league facility-wise to the top part of the top half," Roach says. "I think people will be impressed right from the get-go when they walk in the door."

Fans will enter the rink through an enlarged, reconfigured lobby area that features new ticket booths and concessions, but of more interest and value to Brown's athletes is the addition of new boards and glass around the rink and the reconfiguration of the locker room complex under the north stands. The locker rooms are now roomier and include a modern training room. Four new visiting-team locker rooms have been built under the south stands.

"Meehan's always been a pretty nice place to play hockey," says men's coach Roger Grillo, "but with locker rooms, the lobby, and the other changes, it brings the facility up to the level that other schools have. For us and the women's program, it will be nice to show this facility to recruits. Nowadays kids look at everything. There's no question kids look at the rink when choosing a school." Renovations to the ceiling have also made the rink much brighter, says Roach: "The whole look is great. When you go inside the playing area, the feel is just terrific."

The facility's prime occupants are hoping to break in the revamped rink in style this winter. The women's team is gunning for another shot at a national title after losing to MinnesotaÐDuluth in the NCAA championship game last March, while the men's team is aiming to continue a return to prominence that began last year with the Bears' first ECAC playoff appearance since 1999.

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November / December 2002