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Endicott Breaks Ground On Raymond J. Bourque Ice Arena

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Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque helps Endicott College break ground on The Raymond J. Bourque Ice Arena on Tuesday. (WBZ-TV)

Boston Bruins legend Ray Bourque helps Endicott College break ground on The Raymond J. Bourque Ice Arena on Tuesday. (WBZ-TV)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Endicott College hockey team is making some big moves this summer.

Not only is the program jumping from club level to Division III, but they’re also getting a brand new home named after one of Boston’s greatest hockey players.

Endicott College and the Endicott Athletics and Recreation Department broke ground on the college’s new ice hockey arena and sports complex on Tuesday, named for Boston Bruins hockey legend Ray Bourque. The Raymond J. Bourque Ice Arena, which is expected to open prior to the start of the 2015-16 academic year, will house the men’s and women’s ice hockey programs as well as serve as home to several local athletic teams.

“This arena will affect the lives of many individuals, starting with the youth of the North Shore, which is the motivating factor for me to not only accept the honor of having the arena named after me but to actively assist in the construction fundraising,” Bourque said Tuesday.  “I am passionate about the funding of scholarships and the continuing education of our youth with regards to the value of teamwork, leadership, dedication and a strong sense of community.”

“When we began speaking with Ray about the naming of the arena in his honor, our thought was that we wanted to inspire our youth, our students, and our community to emulate the qualities that he has as an athlete and as a man,” said Endicott president Dr. Richard E. Wylie. “In true Bourque fashion, he was most appreciative about being honored but far more interested about what impact this would have on the kids and the community.”

Beverly Youth Hockey, Beverly High School Hockey, and other local sports activities will also call the Bourque arena their home.

“It’s very humbling and an honor,” said Bourque. “You think about all the fun and good times and how it changed my life, and hopefully I can inspire others to go out and do the things I did. It’s going to be a great thing for the school and the community, and I really think it will benefit a lot of kids.”

As part of the ceremony, Bourque received a No. 77 Endicott jersey.

MORE BRUINS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON

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