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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wade King Student Recreation Center gets new court addition

Workers remodel the court in the MAC Gym in Wade King Student Recreational Center on Monday, Oct. 5.  // Photo by Caleb Galbreath
Workers remodel the court in the MAC Gym in Wade King Student Recreational Center on Monday, Oct. 5. // Photo by Caleb Galbreath

The Wade King Student Recreation Center has recently added a very large and prominent piece of equipment to the west side of the building.

Bob Hofstetter and the employees at the rec center had to get creative with all of the added bodies due to the renovation of Sam Carver Gymnasium.

The rec center has been tasked with adding physical-education classes and other outside accommodations, which includes the Western men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“[With Carver Gym being renovated] it was impossible to keep all of our services while accommodating all the programming that went on in Carver,” Hofstetter said.

The creative answer Hofstetter was looking for, was to add a portable hardwood floor to the rec center that had been used in the most recent NCAA March Madness tournament.

The floors from March Madness are sold following the tournament at a used price despite very little wear and tear, Division Director of Budget and Administration at Western Linda Beckman said in an email.

Western purchased the court at a net cost of about $35,000 from Connor Sports, Beckman said.

The court has been paid for from Carver Gym renovation fund. It is regulation size for college, but additional lines have been painted at the rec center in order to fit three courts rather than two, Hofstetter said. Without repainting the new court to accommodate the usual court size for varsity basketball, would have meant eliminating a court designated for students.

“That would’ve been really unfortunate to lose that open recreation time during prime pickup basketball time,” Hofstetter said.

The court was placed in the MAC gym inside the rec center. This placement decreased activities that often happen in the MAC gym, such as olympic weightlifting, indoor soccer and other activities, one of the few results of the new court, Hofstetter said.

Hofstetter and the rec center staff knew space would be limited due to the court addition, and made an effort to add more recreational activities. The rock climbing wall is now open more hours than before, non-student member use of areas, such as the pool, have been limited, and more outdoor intramural sports have also been provided.

This isn’t permanent, as the floor is intended to be sold once Carver is finished in two years, Hofstetter said. At that point, the MAC gym will return to the synthetic, rubber surface that students can once again take advantage of.

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