September 19, 2001

Cornell Petitions Ithaca Town Board for New Wrestling Facility

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Last night, at Ithaca’s Town Hall, the preliminary stages for the construction of a new wrestling facility on Campus Road were passed. The facility, with a proposed location east of Bartels Hall at the existing tennis courts, received a preliminary site plan approval for construction.

The cost is estimated at approximately $3.5 million. The building, approximately 15,000 square feet, will include a 900-seat arena, training facilities, locker rooms and offices dedicated to the varsity wrestling program.

According to Athletic Director Andy Noel, plans for constructing it had been in the works for a couple of years already.

Michael Husar and Steven Wright, project managers for Cornell Planning and Design, presented the site plans to the Board. Although the basic structure is set, Husar said, “We’re still in the process of design,” referring to the exterior of the building.

Due to this unexpected complication, the Town Board stated that it could not pass a final site plan approval, meaning that Cornell will have to make a return trip to Town Hall.

“It completely alters what we’re looking at,” said one Board member about the possible future changes.

“The budget reductions that must occur will impact the design a small amount in my view,” said Noel, “but it was enough for the board to think that we should come back in another month.”

Current design plans include a tower as well as a barreled-roof. However, because of budget constraints, the tower may be eliminated and the roof height could be altered.

“[The tower] serves no practical purpose except to draw attention [to the facility],” said Wright.

Funding for the facility will come from a combination of the university and alumni.

“We have tremendous alumni support, and have gotten a lot of lead gifts already,” Noel said.

The Board recommended that the final architectural designs — including the final drawings, revised elevations and description of materials used —