Floored by Renovations: LBCC Albany campus updated with new gym floor and bleachers

Finals week of winter term marked a new beginning for the old gym floor at Linn-Benton.

New changes being made to the almost 50-year-old gym floor and bleachers will positively affect the athletes, students, and LBCC community.

“There were a lot of issues with the old floor,” said Athletic Director Randy Falk. “We explored options in repairing those and were told that we could repair those, but those same issues would come back in the next two, three years. So it would be an ongoing cycle of repairing the same issues over and over.”

Ultimately, those involved decided that scrapping the old gym floor and starting fresh surpassed the option of repairing certain areas of the floor.

The new gym is more than just an improvement to the facilities here at Linn-Benton. “It’s value goes beyond athletics,” Falk said. “We have a lot of people from the community that use the gym. Its remodel is a boost to everybody.”

Jenaya Wright, a freshman athlete at Linn-Benton, is excited to get practicing on the brand new court come August. “Honestly, I had difficulties at times playing on the old gym floor,” she said. “It was very dusty and we often slipped.”

Some problems with the old gym included dead spots scattered throughout the floor and uncertified bleachers. Once completed, the bleachers will be ADA certified and the new floor technology will take care of the dead spots, as well as be more comforting on the joints of students who use the gym for athletic purposes.

“I am especially excited to have the floor painted in our LB Roadrunner colors and the renovation in general will create an environment staff and students can really be proud of,” said Head Volleyball Coach Jayme Frazier.

The design of the new gym floor and bleachers has been a group effort with many different people involved. “We’ve had a lot of input from a lot of different people,” said Falk. “The [new] gym has been a long time coming.”

Every year, when the college prepares their budgets, the departments have an opportunity to come forward and request money for bigger projects. In the 2016-17 year, the Athletics Department and Health and Human Performance Department submitted a request to replace the gym floor.

“We figured that we would have to submit our request each year for several years before we’d be able to have it approved for replacement; there are just a lot of things on campus that deserve funding, and we didn’t think we would necessarily get it on our first try. But much to our surprise and delight, we did!” said Leslie Hammond, the Dean of Student Engagement.

In terms of funding, the upper administration of the college has played a huge role. The overall approximate cost of the gym floor is $270,000, and the college administration was able to fund the project through budget surplus in other areas. The college also saved approximately $16,000 by recycling the old wood floor.

“The entire project has taken the support of our administration and effort of many people in our LBCC community,” said Frazier.

The new gym is expected to be completed by the end of June to mid-July.

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