Gymnasium renovation underway

During the first week of August 2016, a pipe burst in a bathroom outside of the gymnasium at Amherst Regional High School, causing an overflow of water to pour out into the hallway.

The overflow eventually traveled into the gymnasium, damaging the wood flooring of nearly half the gym, rendering the area unusable for any sport.

This unfortunate event left school administrators scrambling to rearrange schedules for the three sports teams that use the gym.

The Amherst girls’ volleyball and boys’ basketball teams were forced to practice and play at Amherst Regional Middle School as their home court.

“I was really mad and I was really sad, a mix of both,” said Captain Periya Yath of the volleyball team. “We didn’t have our own practice time. We would always share with JV, so figuring out what we could do during practices was hard.  We needed more space to ourselves to practice.  So that was just frustrating for everyone.”

Will Budington, a senior on the varsity basketball team, said, “I was shocked, not only because of what happened to the gym but also because of how late we were told about it.”

As well as the student athletes, physical fitness teachers scrambled to adjust class curriculum after having their classroom cut in half.

Ken Jacque, who had been teaching physical fitness at ARHS for eighteen years said he was “not informed about it until, basically, right before the first day of school.”

“There’s a process that you have to do; you have to bring engineers in, they have to look at [the gym], you have to tell them what you want, and then you have to put the process out to bid,” said Mr. Jacque.

Rich Ferro, the athletic director, has never experienced anything like this during his fives years in the position.

Mr. Ferro, who graduated from ARHS in 1994, said that the gym has looked exactly the same since he was in high school.

It is now fair to say that the new gymnasium will look very different from the old one.  The most major change will be the orientation of the bleachers.

“We are going to have bleachers just on the girls’ side and we are not replacing the bleachers on the boys’ side. They are going to be bigger and taller,” said Mr. Ferro.

Also, the new gym will be more accessible to people in wheelchairs, thanks to the certain sections of seats that will now push in to make room for the chairs.

There will also be new hoops all around the gym, fresh paint on the wall, and a new logo at center court.