Dedication of the Spence Eccles Ski Team Building took place on a cool morning on April 26, with an enthusiastic crowd of donors, U administrators, ski fans, and the NCAA Championship Utah Ski Team. “This new home for our Ute ski program will be great not only for the team’s growing national and international reputation, but also for our ability to continue to recruit and compete at the highest levels,” said Eccles. “My family and I are thrilled that we could play a part in this fantastic new facility, and I’m humbled to have it bear this Ogden boy’s name.”
Ski team and Ute alumni make up a significant portion of the donors, many of whom have named areas in the facility, including the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation Mezzanine, the Jim Gaddis Board Room (Jim and Barbara Gaddis); Jon Quitiquit Film Room, the Gordon Family Women’s Locker Room (Bill and Shannon Gordon), Thor Kallerud Men’s Locker Room (Thor E. and Barbie Kallerud), Trygve Mikkelsen Nordic Team Room, Scott Hutcheson Alpine Team Room, and the Pete and Jeanine Karns Lobby.
The two-story, 5,931 square-foot facility is located north of the McCarthey Family Track and Field and south of the Dumke Family Softball Stadium. Construction began in June 2016 and the team moved in the first of May.
The ground floor holds the Alf Engen Sportsmanship Award bowl and plaques commemorating Ute Olympians and All-Americans. Custom locker rooms for dry gear storage open into Nordic and alpine team rooms with tuning tables and ski and boot storage for each team.
Upstairs, the board room also serves as a trophy room, holding Utah’s 11 NCAA first place trophies and a plaque commemorating Utah’s individual NCAA national champions. A balcony with views of the city and the mountains—and especially of the Block U—provides outdoor space for gatherings.
“It is hard to find the right words to express my sincere appreciation for all the hard work and donor commitments that have made our new home possible,” said Kevin Sweeney, director of skiing for the U. “It is an honor to have the building named after Spence Eccles, ski team alum and NCAA All-American, who, as lead donor, has been intimately involved with the project since its inception. No doubt it will aid in our preparation, performance, and recruiting.”