|J. Thom Lawlor Arena at the
S. Peter Volpe Athletic Center
|Location||North Andover, Massachusetts|
|Opened||November 28, 1972|
|Surface||200x85 ft (hockey)|
|Construction cost||$2 million|
|Capacity||2,549 (hockey arena)
3,617 (basketball arena)
|Merrimack Warriors athletics|
The S. Peter Volpe Athletic Center is the home of the Merrimack College Warriors athletics teams. It has a basketball court and hockey arena. The Volpe Center is the home of the men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team. Lawler Arena is the home of the Division I Merrimack Warriors men's ice hockey team, which had won the 1978 Division II national title before transitioning to Division I and joining the prestigious Hockey East Conference.
The athletic center is named for S. Peter Volpe, a member of the college's Board of Trustees and benefactor. His construction company was responsible for the building of the McQuaid Library on campus. His brother, John Volpe, was U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President Richard M. Nixon. The hockey arena is named for J. Thom Lawler, former coach of the men's hockey team who died in 1978 at age 44, just after leading the team to their national title.
Over the summer and winter break of 2010, extensive renovation was done on the arena. The wooden bench seating was completely replaced with seatback chair seating and a student bleacher section was installed behind the visiting goalie's side. The "tin foil" insulation was removed from the roof as well. Seating capacity did go down but attendance has skyrocketed.
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