Rochester College to break ground on new sports arena

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published March 23, 2016

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ROCHESTER — Rochester College will soon be home to a new sports arena, which has been a long time in the making, according to college officials.

The college will break ground April 22 on the one-story, 23,000-square-foot Garth Pleasant Arena, named after the men’s basketball coach who served for 38 years. It will serve as the new home for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, and will have a fan capacity of 868, with a maximum capacity of over 1,500, including floor seating. The facility is set to be completed by February 2017. 

Center for Social Entrepreneurship Director Jaymes Vettraino, who is overseeing the arena’s construction, said the French Associates architectural firm designed the arena to complement the aesthetics of the college’s Richardson Academic Center, while still portraying a distinct athletic feel. 

He said Frank Rewold and Son Inc., also based in Rochester, will head up the construction of the arena, which will be located on the north side of Avon Road, between Livernois and Rochester roads.

Klint Pleasant, Rochester College men’s basketball coach and son of Garth Pleasant, said in a statement that the addition of the arena will allow teams to finally enjoy the excitement that only a true home court can provide. 

“It will be a thrill for our student-athletes to play in front of their classmates, professors and staff mentors, as well as community friends. Equally exciting are the many on-campus events our community can look forward to, which will enhance school spirit and campus camaraderie,” Klint Pleasant said.

The facility, according to Vettraino, will be the heart of student life at Rochester College.

“It will be the largest indoor gathering space on campus by far,” he said. “So I look forward to it being used as a part of campus life, even beyond the athletic end.”

Garth Pleasant Arena is funded, in part, by a “generous challenge gift,” according to college officials, which will match every dollar the community donates to the arena’s construction. 

The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, April 22.

“The construction is expected to last about 10 months, so that would be February of 2017. We are expecting to keep to that schedule, and I know Rewold, as our construction manager, has an exceptional reputation of being on time and on budget, so we have pretty high expectations for them to keep us to that schedule,” Vettraino said.

For more information or to support the facility, visit www.rc.edu/4thquarter.

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