Spaulding Gym's Extreme Makeover
There are no athletes driving towards the basket-or fans cheering them on-in Spaulding Gym this summer, but there's plenty of activity happening there. The gym's getting a makeover. After 43 years of heavy pounding and abuse from basketball shoes, volleyball players, and all the other shoes that run, jump, slide, and walk across the gym, and after the heavy commercial sanders from 43 annual refinishings, the floor had worn thin. So it's coming up, and a new one is going down.
When the crew started tearing up the old floor, they realized that the bleachers, too, had seen better days (lots of them), and also needed replacing. So, the "student" side of the gym is getting bleachers with 968 molded seats. The "team" side is getting 470 chair-back seats. They fold up, the same as regular bleachers, but the chair backs pop up when the bleachers are pulled out for seating. Fans can now thrill to the excitement of Owl action in improved comfort!
If you're around this summer, stop in and see how things are shaping up. If you can't get to campus, check out the weekly progress online. The redesigned athletic owl will be emblazoned on the new floor, so be among the first to check it out.
Because the funding only covers part of the bleacher replacement, there's a campaign afoot to offer seat sponsorships to avid Owl sports fans. Contributors can have their name (or the name of a loved one, friend, teammate, coach, sweetheart-you name it) on a nameplate sponsoring a single seat, a row, or a whole section of seats. Visit the "bleacher project" page to learn all about it.
Of course, sponsoring a seat doesn't mean it's for your exclusive use. Even such stalwart fans as Don Carle and Pauline Dionne, who have already sponsored the seats that they regularly sit in, could possibly find someone sitting in their seats. But, as Development Director Ken Goebel pointed out, "Anyone who would sit in those seats is obviously from out of town."