After a few setbacks and delays the demolition and construction the majority of the Bradwell Institute gym renovation is complete. Liberty County School System’s Interim Chief Operations Officer Jason Rogers said a few small items just need to be put in place but otherwise the new basketball gym is ready for use.
The renovation included knocking out the older locker-rooms that were behind the old gym building and adding new seating to that area increasing the capacity by 200 more seats. Prior to the renovations the gym accommodated around 1,100 people. Rogers said they decided to go in that direction as one set of bleacher seating in the main section of the gym had some of the seating reduced so that the team benches were separate from the audience seating.
Prior to that the teams used to seat on the bleachers with the audience. That took up stadium seating and was problematic at times for the teams.
Rogers gave the Courier a tour of the new gym. He said the wing that once housed the trade and industrial classes were converted to new PE locker rooms.
The new locker room set up also allows for the home and visiting team to have access to the gym yet remain in their own section. The weight room was equipped with a new locker room as well.
The renovation included a film study room and laundry room and the addition of two new classrooms, which will house the Early Childhood Education program.
The Tiger basketball teams didn’t get a chance to use the new gym during their regular season. But Lady Tiger basketball coach Faye Baker said her team started having 4 on 1 skills training last week.
“The kids were very excited when they entered the gym,” she said. “Having a renovated gym should instill more pride into our program and motivate our athletes to give their best effort every time they hit the floor whether it's in practice or in a game.”
Rogers said the project was completed under budget.