Saturday, September 25, 2010

If You Build It, They Will Come

With the women's exhibition game taking place at the Field House today (an 8-3 RPI win - recap will be up tomorrow), we had an opportunity to take some new photos of the construction in progress. We forgot to grab a photo of the front facade, but it's still under construction along with the reconstruction of the circular driveway in front of the box office. All told, it doesn't look like the construction is anywhere near done, and we'll probably be looking at at least a few weeks of working around it for games in Troy.

Click any thumbnail for a larger version.

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When we last had a look inside HFH, the new structure in Section 1's place was basically a bunch of steel, with no real defining characteristics to demonstrate what the finished product would look like. It's now pretty easy to see what's in store for the west end of the rink, and already it looks good.

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You can see the large VIP area in the center of the upper floor, along with what look like smaller boxes or similar rooms flanking on either side. You can see the existing exterior doors in the background on the left and center of the photo.

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The green box coming out the top left of this photo is the elevator shaft that will serve the upper floor. The stairs are far to the left near the concession stand, out of the view of this shot. An angled front wall and overhanging floor platform project the VIP seating area out toward the ice - it looks like there will be two rows of seats in the front of that platform based on the tiered concrete that's there.

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From a distance, the new new structure does a great job filling the void between the corner sections. It really adds something to the view on the west end of the rink, and surprisingly goes a long way toward making the Field House look much more modern, even while all this work is unfinished. While there's nothing built above this area yet, it looks like prime real estate for a future relocated press area.

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The new lighting is about 90% complete, with just one row of lights at center ice left to be replaced. Coupled with the new paint job on the structure and the natural light from the west windows, the rink is much brighter overall, as are the seats. The color of the new fixtures and lamps is also much improved over the old ones, so the Poly's photographers should be able to stop having nightmares about shooting at HFH.

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Another look at the east end of the rink where the stage once stood. The band will be in section 13 for at least the first half of the season, in the red seats to the far right near the column in the photo above. If the stage returns at all, it won't be until December once all construction is completely buttoned up and no more equipment needs to come and go from the large roll-up door in the center of the east wall of HFH.

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As the afternoon wore on, the sun started to drop to the west and we saw some glare in the building. Most of the window area was covered by translucent plastic due to the construction - the sun you see is coming from the areas that weren't covered. We'd be surprised if there's not some sort of covering installed in the finished product to let light in without the glare for afternoon games.

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A shot of the scoreboard and north side after the final buzzer of RPI's 8-3 win. Notice the big streak of light hitting the seats on the north side - this was from a roughly 6x6 foot patch of uncovered glass near the top corner of the west wall. If all the glass was uncovered, most of the north stands and much of the ice would likely have been washed in a similar glare.

As we can see, construction has come a long way since we last had a glimpse inside the Field House, but there's a lot left to be done. While most will be able to see the progress for themselves in the coming weeks, we'll keep you updated with periodic photos as construction nears completion.

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