He already has two Stanley Cup championships and an Olympic gold medal under his belt, and soon Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux will have a building named in his honor.
On Wednesday, the hockey legend joined a host of others to break ground on the future home of The UPMC Lemieux Sport Complex in Cranberry.
Also joining in the celebration was Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, Penguins CEO David Morehouse, Cranberry Supervisor Chairman Bruce Mazzoni and UPMC officials, including CEO Jeffrey Romoff.
Lemieux didn’t speak at Wednesday’s ceremony, but he joined in as officials used shovels, with hockey stick handles, to break ground on the 12-acre site.
“He’s just an icon,” property owner Gary Sippel said of Lemieux.
Located near the intersection of Route 228 and Interstate 79, on land once slated to be a Simon Mall, the 180,000 square foot complex will include sports medicine, practice and training facilities.
UPMC will build and own the facility, which will be similar in nature to the UPMC sports performance complex on Pittsburgh's South Side used by the Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh. The Penguins will lease the ice rink and other facilities from the hospital.
The estimated $70 million complex will include two rinks and be the primary training space for the Penguins, replacing the space the team currently leases at the Iceoplex at Southpointe in Washington County.
The team also will use the rink for practice during the regular season when the ice isn’t available at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
One rink will have close 500 seats. The other rink will have seating for about 900. The Penguins are expected to open the rinks for spectators at selected public practices
The rinks also will be used for high school hockey tournaments, development camps for Penguins hockey prospects, skating classes, public skating sessions and other programs.
Construction on the building could begin by March 2014. The UPMC Lemieux Sport Complex is expected to open in the summer of 2015.
Restaurants, Bike Paths and More
The UPMC Lemieux Sport Complex is expected to be built in the first of a five-phase plan.
The other phases of development include plans for five restaurants, a 100-room hotel, a small retail building and 875,000 square feet of office space.
Also shown are pedestrian and biking lanes, sidewalks, a heavily landscaped traffic roundabout and two water features, including a 10-foot waterfall that will cascade from an upper pond into a pond at a lower elevation.
For more information on the complex, including renderings, click here.