A rough schematic of proposed modified shipping containers-turned-dorm rooms in the upper parking lot at The Colisée, with a covered ice rink in between, from Darryl Antonacci’s application to the Lewiston Planning Board.

LEWISTON — The owner of The Colisée has approached the city about creating a hockey school at the arena and housing players in modified cargo containers in the parking lot.

Darryl Antonacci’s request for a land-use determination is first headed to the Lewiston Planning Board next Monday.

Antonacci, a New Jersey surgeon who owns the Maine Nordiques junior hockey team, bought The Colisée last year.

In his application, he wrote its primary use now is as a hockey school teaching “students both on ice and in the classroom at an elite level for the development of college-bound players,” with an on-site cafeteria serving three meals a day and “classroom teaching related to hockey itself.”

“There is significant demand for on-campus, small-unit housing for students,” he added.

The city now considers the facility an ice skating rink with use allowed for indoor entertainment, not a school.


“This request, if approved by the Planning Board, would allow The Colisée to operate as a hockey school or academy and have additional accessory uses that go along with that, such as a dormitory or lodging, in this case, in those modified cargo containers for the players,” said City Planner Doug Greene.

Several images of ideas for modified shipping containers-turned-dorm rooms in Darryl Antonacci’s application to the Lewiston Planning Board.

The Colisée at 190 Birch St. sits in the city’s Institutional Office District, under zoning and land use codes that permit academic uses.

Antonacci called the modified shipping containers “small unit dormitories” in the application. The preliminary plan would place eight of them in the upper parking lot at The Colisée, four of them facing one another, with room in between for a potential covered outdoor ice rink.

The containers appear to have bunk beds inside, as shown in rough schematics, and would share two bathrooms created in two other modified cargo containers.

Antonacci also wrote in the application he already has more than 70 student-athletes involved in “two premier hockey school and development programs currently functioning at The Colisée, both requiring housing of players from around the country and internationally.”

One is the Maine Nordiques team, part of the North American Hockey League, whose training “consists of daily ice practices (2.5 hours), off-ice conditioning on site and daily classroom education in hockey concepts.”


The other is the Maine Nordiques Academy, “where players were provided off-site housing, but had daily hockey school encompassing 3 full meals a day, van transportation to and from local high schools, 4-6 hours of hockey related training daily including classroom teaching and tournament play. About half the academy players did online school and used onsite designated study and rec areas.”

“Our competitors nationally are Shattuck St. Mary’s School in Minnesota and Mount Saint Charles on the East Coast,” Antonacci wrote.

He declined to comment Tuesday.

If the use as a hockey school or academy with dorms were approved Monday by the Planning Board, Antonacci would need to return to the board with more-specific plans for additional approvals.

Greene said he believed the goal was to open the hockey school later this year.

An overheard view of The Colisée with the eight modified shipping containers-turned-dorm rooms at left, from Darryl Antonacci’s application to the Lewiston Planning Board.

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