Braving cold temperatures and winter weather, work crews have commenced construction on the Houghton College Equestrian Center (HCEC) indoor riding arena.
The project, slated for completion by early June 2018, is managed by Ben Heckathorn of Kinley Corp. out of Allegany, NY. To date, the foundations have been installed and backfilled, and under slab plumbing and drainage are completed. Construction teams are currently working on installing the structure’s primary and secondary steel framing. Behind the sciences, final electrical and mechanical designs are being completed, while the Department of Health is reviewing the approvals for septic and water lines.
Work will continue on the steel structure through the end of February. Upon completion, the interior framing and mechanical work will begin.
This new indoor riding arena will further enhance the Houghton College Equestrian Center (HCEC), which was listed as one of the 20 Most Amazing College Equestrian Centers in the country by Best Value Schools this year, alongside major universities such as Michigan State, Penn State, Stanford, and Kentucky. This arena will expand Houghton’s capacity to continue partnerships with the USEF and the Western New York Dressage Association and to building new partnerships and expanding its services to a greater number of students and visitors.
The college broke ground for this 36,400-square-foot indoor equestrian arena, made possible by an anonymous $2.4 million lead gift, on October 7, 2017. The indoor equestrian arena is an important component of “IMPACT: The Campaign for Greater Houghton” as part of a priority on strategic campus enhancement, which focuses on creating and maintaining a campus that is prepared to impact 21st century students and meet their educational, vocational, spiritual, relational and physical needs. In addition to construction of the indoor arena, the $3.5 million equestrian center campaign proposes expansion and upgrades to existing facilities, as well as endowment to provide ongoing operational funding.
Houghton’s equestrian studies program is known for academic excellence, professionalism, and experiential learning. The idyllic rural setting provides an ideal training ground for students to learn and train under Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) certified professors and FEI level clinicians. Graduates go on to careers as coaches, trainers, equestrian facility managers, college and university professors, directors of year-round riding programs at lesson barns and camp/conference centers, equine entrepreneurs, and other related occupations.
Students from all across the country – as far as California, Texas, Washington, and Colorado – come to Houghton to pursue equine studies. Each year, Houghton hosts 10-12 public events at the equestrian center, including classes, competitions, and clinics. During the summer months, the center conducts a regularly sold-out, multi-week equestrian summer camp and also hosts a number of USEF-recognized dressage competitions. Additionally, multiple schooling shows, CHA clinics, and other equestrian-related events and clinics are offered.
To learn more about the equestrian center campaign, please contact the Houghton College Office of Advancement at 585.567.9640, or visit www.houghton.edu/giving/current-projects/.