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Michigan State announces generous Munn Ice Arena renovation donation, will restart construction

An entrance of Munn Arena

The long needed, previously started, and since paused renovation and expansion project to Munn Ice Arena has received another substantial donation. The Michigan State athletic office announced yesterday that program alumnus Gary Harpell and his wife Joanne have contributed $1.5 million toward the project.

A 1982 graduate, Gary Harpell played on the Michigan State hockey team from 1978-1982, first making the team as a walk-on. Harpell was with the team in the final season under Amo Bessone and the initial years of legendary head coach Ron Mason. He was also there when the Spartans played their final seasons in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and made the switch to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in 1981.

In his final season with the team, the Spartans won the CCHA Conference Tournament and made the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1967.

As for the 35,000 square foot renovation project to Munn Ice Arena, the initial renovation was started back in 2019. However, it was put on pause as a result of COVID-19 and the structure being added was winterized. The $26.2 million project includes elevating many areas from ice level to above ground, including a weight room, training room, film room, offices, conference rooms and administrative spaces. It will also add a new south entrance to the arena for fans that will feature a hall of history for the MSU ice hockey team, similar to that of MSU basketball team at the Breslin Center. The project is set to restart construction work this summer.

The school has raised almost $17 million for the project, and includes six donors, including the Harpells, who have committed over $1 million toward the expansion. You can find more information on the expansion and the Harpells here.