You can’t miss it—the Columbia Icefield Field House (CIF Field House) is officially open for business. Highlighted with an exterior that glows gold, the $16.5 million building is adding another 65,000 square feet of recreational space to Waterloo’s ever-growing campus.

Interior of Field House

Interior of the CIF Field House measures 100 by 50 yards and can be divide into three programmable areas.

Constructed just north of Warrior Field, off Columbia Street West, the multi-activity turf area will enhance student life by providing both recreational and varsity athletes with more space for physical activity. The full-playing field, measuring 100 by 50 yards, can also divide into three programmable areas allowing multiple activities at once.

“Building a positive and supportive student experience starts in the classroom, but doesn’t end there,” says Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor. “This new Field House is much more than additional physical space for athletic activities. It is a new space for all of our students to strengthen their experience on campus through recreational sports, wellness programs and simply coming together as a community.”
Conceptualized for its ability to increase space for drop-in recreation, intramurals, varsity practice/training, community bookings and additional space for sports camps, the CIF Field House is a bright reminder to prioritize a healthy work-life balance. The additional space will also help to alleviate traffic at both the Physical Activities Complex (PAC) and Columbia Icefield (CIF) gyms.

“The well-being of our students is at the forefront at our University and we are thrilled to be able to deliver on this priority through additional recreational space at the Field House,” says Roly Webster, director of Athletics and Recreation. “These spaces and student engagement opportunities create a stronger campus community, contributing to a positive and successful student experience.”

Having broken ground in January 2018, the CIF Field House is one of two major physical activity expansions on campus; the other being a $41-million project connecting the Student Life Centre (SLC) and PAC. It’s Waterloo’s way of diversifying and strengthening student wellness initiatives on campus, while greatly enhancing the ability to provide diverse recreational opportunities for students to de-stress in a variety of activities offered by the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

Field House turf

Multi-activity turf area will enhance student life by providing both recreational and varsity athletes with more space for physical activity.

“I am very excited to have the Field House up-and-running for the upcoming season,” says Ciara Dunne, a fourth-year captain of the women’s soccer team. “It’s an amazing facility and will benefit not only the soccer programs, but all other field sports that need a better place to train through the winter. Not many other schools have a facility like this and this is just another step forward in putting Waterloo Athletics on the map. I can’t wait to see what’s next.” 

The Field House is just one of multiple phases in the works to continue to expand and build recreational space. Other conceptual work includes a new bleacher surrounding Warrior Field and a new arena and pool.

Exterior of Field House

You can't miss it: the exterior of CIF Field House glows gold in traditional Warrior's fashion.

“There is always a need for more recreational space on campus and the Field House delivers this and more, giving our students further opportunity to unwind from their busy academic schedules while prioritizing their physical and mental health,” says Chris Read, associate provost of students. “I look forward to seeing the facility in use and all of our students taking full advantage of this impressive facility.”

This is the first expansion of an athletics and recreation facility since 2003 when a third gym and fitness centre were added to CIF.
We’ve had incredible leadership from our senior administration and student associations across campus,” says Webster. “Without their support, none of this would be possible and we look forward to future expansion plans coming to fruition.”