The question "When will Thayer Academy have its own home ice hockey rink?" can now be definitively answered: by mid-summer.
The Thayer Sports Center, built and operated by the Edge Group on land leased from Thayer, is nearing completion at the South Athletic Campus. It will house one and a half ice sheets along with a spacious viewing area overlooking the ice. There will be locker rooms for players, rooms for trainers and officials, a fitness facility, and a concession stand, among other amenities. The Thayer Sports Center will also have an indoor, multi-sport playing field that will convert to tennis courts in the spring. All told, the complex will measure roughly 86,000 square feet.
Van Whisnand '62, a former co-captain of one of Thayer's earliest hockey teams, has pledged $500,000 of the $1,000,000 needed to name the center's rink in honor of Arthur Valicenti '51, P '75, '75, '77 GP '10, '14, the longtime coach (and former athletic director) who founded Thayer's hockey program in 1958.
"All of this traces back to Arthur Valicenti," Whisnand said.
Funds raised through the challenge will provide support for the $2,000,000 that Thayer is allocating to ensure that the Thayer Sports Center meets fully the needs of its hockey programs.
Video presentations and detailed renderings of the sports complex were available during the 22nd annual Valicenti Cup, which was held Feb. 22 at Warrior Ice Arena in Boston. There, Head of School Ted Koskores '70 P '10, '13, Athletic Director Rick Foresteire P '19, '21, and Valicenti thanked the Thayer community for its support. Valicenti noted that, once the new rink is complete, the Academy will have a state-of-the-art hockey venue that rivals the best the ISL has to offer.
From humble beginnings, the Thayer Academy hockey program is a perennial powerhouse in one of the most competitive high school hockey leagues in the United States. Among others, notable alumni include: David Silk '76; Jeremy Roenick '88; Tony Amonte '89, P '16, '18, '19, '23; Mike Mottau '96; David Gove '98; and Brooks Orpik '98. Amonte now coaches the boys varsity squad.
Brian Cibelli coaches the girls varsity program, which was added in 1997 and has qualified for the NEPSAC tournament two of the past three years. Notable alumni on the women's side include Melissa Piacentini '12, Kelcie Finn '13, Katy Meehan '17, Darby Melia '17, and Emily Smith '18.
The South Athletic Campus is located approximately 1.5 miles from Thayer's Main Campus.
To see a drone video of the project and learn more about donation opportunities, please click here.
A rendering of The Thayer Sports Center, which is slated for completion this summer.
The 1962 Thayer Academy boys varsity hockey team under Coach Valicenti '51, P '75, '75, '77 GP '10, '14. Co-captain Van Whisnand '62 is #8 in the front row.
Valicenti and Whisnand recently toured The Thayer Sports Center to check on its progress.