Kinesiology and Athletics construction projects wrapping up on scheduleby on Oct 10, 2017
How time flies.
Just three months ago the swimming pool was a concrete work in progress and the gym floor had been completely removed. Check out the history here.
In mid-September, courageous beginning swim students explored a new watery universe when the infinity-edged pool opened. They can sun themselves on the pool deck before jumping into sparkling, 82-degree water to claim kick boards and begin class.
The deep section of the new infinity pool at Gavilan College.
"Originally we were going to go back, have two pools," said Ron Hannon, Dean of Kinesiology. But, according to the California State Architect, two pools meant two of everything – pool houses, heaters, pumps.
"It was a cost issue," said Hannon. The college and the state worked out a plan. A walkway divides the shallow and deep pools, variously called the Gavilan Canal, the Panama Canal and the English Channel, among other colorful names.
Naming the lane
With the old pool, coaches paced a wide, 15-foot deck elevated more than a foot above the water's surface. The new walkway has a slight downward slope, and instructors can talk to students in both pools simultaneously. From the swimmers' perspective, coaches appear to walk on water.
Coach John Lango, standing at the corner of the walkway, teaches swim
students using multiple sides of the shallow pool.
"We're trying to come up with a name for it. Maybe we need to get the students to name it for us, come up with something clever," said Hannon.
Original, 50-year-old gym renovated
The gym has been completely revamped with new bleachers, arm rails and hardwood floors. The floor painters will lay down all the court striping and center artwork mid-October. Student teams will get the gym back with substantial completion on October 13.
The old center court floor awaits a new home, displayed elsewhere on campus.
"We cut out and retained several sections of the old floor," Hannon said. The center logo section rests against a wall in the lobby. Other pieces of the playing floor were saved, and plans include framing small sections as gifts for supporters and donors. "With the college centennial coming up, we wanted to be able to capture and document the history," he said. "These are special moments you only get once in a lifetime."
New floor, new technology
Entering the new facility, people will notice the new artwork on the floor. More important for the players is the unseen structure below.
"The technology that's under this floor is unbelievable," said Hannon. The new floor was designed by Robbins Flooring, known for indoor sports floor technology. The subflooring offers a more forgiving surface for knees and joints, from an athlete's perspective, with a bit of a catapult effect.
Hannon demonstrated the floor flex players will notice
when competing in the new gym.
Professional basketball teams have similar floors in their practice facilities and arenas. "We explained this to our student athletes," said Hannon. "When they get in and play on it the first time, they'll feel it."
"I guarantee you players from visiting teams are going to walk in here, on this new floor, and all of a sudden they'll notice the difference," he said.
A November ribbon cutting for the new gym is planned, date to be announced. "Once the gym is complete, the floor is being dedicated to Bill Christopher," said Hannon. "He played basketball for Gavilan in the mid-1990s and has been a huge supporter of the college through the years."
Ball fields under construction
Fences corral the renovation of the baseball and softball fields, dugouts, and the addition of four beach volleyball courts. Construction completion is planned the end of 2017.
"Gavilan was the first school in Northern California to officially declare interest in offering it as an intercollegiate sport," noted Hannon. For the past three years, the beach volleyball team has practiced and competed at facilities off campus.
"To be able to bring that team home, and then to say to all our teams – our intercollegiate sports are housed on campus – that's a huge commitment from the trustees, the president, the college," said Hannon. "This is a great time to be a Ram."