George Commo’s Blog – Sunday Afternoon 2/5/17

Well here we go again … yet another new beginning in the effort to get UVM new and/or improved athletic facilities.

The plans came out Friday … the idea of a huge multi-purpose building shared by hockey and basketball in South Burlington, downtown Burlington or on campus is gone … replaced with a new building for basketball … a renovated Gutterson for hockey … and other needed improvements.

I’ve got to admit as a hockey guy I was a bit taken aback at first … at first glance it seems like the hockey program is getting the short end of the stick in this plan. But after looking at the plan in a little more detail my feelings quickly changed.

The feeling all along among Catamount hockey fans has been “it is too bad Gutterson has to disappear … it is such a great old building”. Well if the plan goes forward as planned it won’t have to go away. With chair back seating replacing the wooden bleachers and the addition of other amenities needed by players and fans alike, the renovated Gutt could be a masterpiece. And if they can do it as advertised … without losing any seats … instead in fact adding a few … then all the better.

As for hoop the new building looks very similar to the shared building we saw in earlier plans , but not having to outfit it to handle¬†both sports … no ice making equipment for example … has to greatly reduce the cost. Feasibility … a plan that can actually happen … is crucial.¬†Keeping the building on campus helps that as well.

There is a lot more to do to make this thing happen … a ton of money to raise … final approvals … permitting … Don’t expect to see a shovel in the ground until 2020 or a game to be played in the new/improved buildings until 2022 … perhaps 2023. But there is reason for optimism with this plan. I for one am hoping for the best.