A look inside the construction of Colorado College's new hockey arena in downtown Colorado Springs. The arena will have over 3,000 seats and is expected to be finished in 2021. (Video by Skyler Ballard)

Almost a year before it’s set to open, Colorado College’s Robson Arena looks a bit like a Roman amphitheater with a dirt floor surrounded by rudimentary stands. There’s perforated metal decking on the roof that still lets the light in.

Not for long.

Senior project manager Rick Greene held up a model on a tablet that acted as a window to the future. It showed how the CC hockey team’s approximately 5,000 square feet — currently mostly empty concrete — will be used.

Strength and conditioning area. Equipment. (He talks to head equipment manager Spud Hamilton, he said, almost every day.) Lounge. Video room. Coach’s area. Showers, dry lockers, main locker room, sports medicine, recruit lounge. All there, soon enough.

“It’s really cool to see it coming together,” athletic director Lesley Irvine said.

The “topping out” celebration, where the last beam in the arena will be set, is Friday. That special, signed piece will be near the future lobby that faces Tejon Street.

It will be a more muted affair than it might have been outside of a pandemic. Irvine said a small group will still mark the “landmark moment.”

Greene estimates they’ll be “dried in” — closed to the elements — in November. Work on the parking garage begins in a few short weeks.

A few unremarkable pieces of black pipe are all that hint at a future rink. New York company Ice Builders will begin doing what their company name suggests in January. Greene called it the “most technical work.”

Above, the game-day real estate will be allocated from the top down.

Associate AD for External Operations Scott Lowenberg said tickets will likely go on sale in phases in October, starting with the club and bar rail, then center ice. CC will do its best to honor the seating arrangement at The Broadmoor World Arena, where the Tigers are set to play one more season.

Irvine goes to the on-campus site so often she keeps her own helmet and work jacket in her car. As it looks less like a jungle gym and more like a Division I hockey arena, many people have wanted to take a look.

The project is still on track for its planned fall 2021 opening, Irvine said.

For the first time, students will walk across the street from their dorms, through the Nevada Avenue entrance and to their seats. To their right, the visiting team will stream onto the ice through the penalty box to boos.

To the left, the Tigers jump out and get ready for battle.

“It’s really going to impact the life of our students and what the experience of a CC student will be,” Irvine said. “We can’t wait.”

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