“It’s a Great Old Barn”

Photos by Alex Melagrano and Dan Munch
Video by Masayuki Tamura
Reporting by Adam Gostomelsky



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Changing the hardwood basketball court over to ice for hockey games is a four-hour process, said Athletic Facilities Supervisor Bill Smith, who has worked at Northeastern for 21 years – 19 of which have been at Matthews Arena. “Smitty’s” staff has been able to accomplish the feat in as little as one hour and 45 minutes.
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A full staffed changeover team is made up of eight workers from Olympic Movers, eight from Northeastern facilities, four from athletic facilities and six part-time student workers.
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“I listen to kids’ hardships, I try to help them out. It’s not all about sports and it gives me great joy to see them [former student athletes] have success.” Jake Negrotti
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Steps to transform the hardwood to the ice:
1. Remove stages with the chairs and dividers that block off sections
2. Take off the basketball court
3. Put the side glass into place
4. Remove the tarps from the upper stands and covers off the hockey-only ads
5. Take off the subfloor starting at the Zamboni end, and Zamboni over the ice
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Jake Negrotti has been associated with Northeastern for 42 years – working full-time for 38 of them. His time at Northeastern has been segmented by military service – Negrotti served in the Air Force from Dec. 4, 1973 to Nov. 20, 2006, taking military leave in 1990-91 for Desert Storm and spending time in Pakistan and Baghdad, Iraq.
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Pins connecting the court to the subfloor must be taken out before removal.
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“I like the challenge of having the best ice in the country – not just for men’s or women’s hockey, but to anybody that puts on a pair of skates… it’s a great old barn.” Jake Negrotti