St. Lawrence to Move Forward with New Division III Athletic Facility
Four donors have stepped forward to raise the necessary funds to enable St. Lawrence University to move forward with plans to build the George W. Karpus ’68 Athletic Center, which will be completed as phase two of the Appleton Arena project.
A $2 million gift from Tom Dolan ’74 and the Dolan Family Foundation, an additional $1 million gift from Karpus, as well as a pair of anonymous Laurentian donors, each making $500,000 gifts, have enabled the project to move forward.
These donors built upon a $5 million lead gift from George W. Karpus ’68, announced in 2020, to support the second phase of the Appleton Arena renovation and expansion project. This lead gift kicked off an aggressive fundraising campaign that resulted in the most recent series of gifts totaling $4 million.
“I am grateful to Tom Dolan, George Karpus, and our anonymous donors for their vision and leadership in helping to make this project a reality. Their combined philanthropy will impact thousands of Saints athletes for generations to come.”
— President Kathryn A. Morris
The $11.5 million project includes a planned expansion of the Michael “Buddy” Cornacchia ’74 Strength and Conditioning Center for all of the Saints’ NCAA Division III student-athletes, as well as new planned locker room and team facilities for the women’s field hockey and softball teams, and the men's and women's lacrosse and rowing teams. An athletic training and treatment center, a dedicated strategy room for coaches, players lounge, and video/media room are also planned as part of the project.
When the new Division III complex is complete, it will also positively impact the entire campus community. The University will revamp the current strength and conditioning space utilized by Division III student-athletes in the Stafford Fitness Center in Newell Fieldhouse, allowing open access to a larger fitness area for all students, faculty, and staff.
“Increasing the access and space for all Laurentians to use for their health and fitness supports the community well-being initiatives that have been an area of focus over the past 18 months,” said Morris.
The University has worked with global design firm HOK, one of the premier architectural companies for designing sports venues in North America, since 2017. Initial plans and construction drawings were completed in 2018. Bids will be solicited, with the intention of beginning construction in the spring of 2023, and the University is targeting completion of the project in the fall of 2024.
Phase two of the Appleton Arena expansion project will complement additional significant investments that the institution will make in the coming years to upgrade some of the St. Lawrence residence halls and academic facilities and to foster energy efficiency across the University's physical plant.
Historic Appleton Arena is also home to the Saints’ NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs and was renovated as part of phase one in 2020. Dolan and the Dolan Family Foundation made the lead gift in 2018 of $10 million that launched the renovation. The University dedicated the new state-of-the-art facilities on February 8, 2020.
There are still team and athletic room naming opportunities available for new donors. While the donor-funded project has the commitments necessary to move forward, additional support is still being secured and coordinated by University Advancement and Andy Whittier ’91, Principal Gifts Officer/Director of Athletic Development, who serves as the project liaison. For more information on naming opportunities and supporting the project, please contact Andy at email@example.com or 315-229-5511.