The Gymnasium at Raritan Valley Community College is closed until mid-July while it undergoes its largest renovations since its construction in 1975.
The total cost of the renovation will be about $224,200. Last summer marked phase 1 of the renovation when the lighting was switched to LED. Phase 2 of the renovation started January 2015 with the removal of the bleachers. Electric style bleachers will be installed in its place, which will provide about 10 more seats than before.
The removal of the rubber flooring took place the second week of March and will be complete in 6-8 weeks, according to George Eversmann, Assistant Athletic Director Aquatics & Facilities.
The renovated flooring will be hardwood and have court boundary lines for volleyball. It will also have two half court boundary lines for basketball so that multiple games can take place at one time. Phase 2 will finish with a paint job, new championship banners and padding on the walls.
The flooring will have holes that volleyball net poles can get mounted in. RVCC's volleyball team was using roll away poles last season, which volleyball player Victoria Ciampa said was difficult to play with. One player last season landed on the base of the net pole and sprained her ankle.
Ciampa also said playing on the rubber flooring was difficult. The volleyball team could not host home games because of this flooring. Eversmann said the hardwood flooring will make it easier for the volleyball team and basketball teams to play on.
Eversmann said the renovation will provide more rental opportunities for external programs. The Athletics Department hopes to host major tournaments and championships at the renovated Gymnasium.
“The gym renovations are a reflection of the commitment the campus has made to the areas of athletics and student life,” said Amanda DeMartino, Director of the Athletics Department.
DeMartino said the athletes are very excited because the high schools they come from have updated facilities, thus they noticed a need for renovation. She hopes the renovation will help recruit new students and increase attendance at games.
The Athletics Department also plans to renovate the outside fields next year. They hope to upgrade the dug-outs, scoreboard, sprinkler system and bathroom facilities.
According to DeMartino, cleanliness, proper usage and abiding by rules will be important to prolong the beauty of this new environment.
Plymouth Environmental Co. of Norristown, PA is the contractor for the renovation.
Contributing writer: Christian Rosario.
Featured image caption: The Gymnasium at Raritan Valley Community College is currently closed due to renovations.