By Alyssa Grevenkamp
If you were on campus this summer, you probably saw a lot of construction going on. The University of Findlay was busy at work outside and in. But one building in particular got a lot of attention from the renovation crews.
That building was Croy Gymnasium.
The renovations began back in May when workers started to clear out the old bleachers to make room for the new ones. Before they could add in new bleachers, the painting process had to take place, and the athletic administration had to decide on what color the gym was going to be painted.
“We got to decide just about everything that went into this project,” said Jim Givens, associate athletic director for development and business. “The very first thing we had to decide on was color. We knew the bleachers would be black so we wanted to make a splash and make a change with the color that we decided on for the rest of the gym.”
The purpose of the renovations was to make the gym a safer environment as well as modernize the look of the facility. Croy now has new paint, posters, and bleachers.
The old bleachers were orange and were not equipped with railings. This posed a major safety issue. The new bleachers have safety railings and are black.
With the new bleachers in place, UF has sacrificed about 300 seats to create a safer environment for the fans. The new walkway was one of the reasons they lost some of those seats.
“For safety purposes, we made a walkway. That’s where we lost the majority of our seats,” said Givens. “The walkway turned out really nice. When fans come to the games, they don’t have to walk on the floor around players or coaches. So that’s definitely a plus.”
Before the project started, the athletic administration had an idea of how the project would go. At the end of the project, the vision of how it would go went according to plan.
“The project went about how I expected. It was definitely a collaborative effort with everyone involved. Sometimes it’s hard when you have to schedule different contractors, teams and workouts to get everything to run smoothly, but overall, I think it went great,” said Givens.
Givens and the athletic administration met with other UF coaches to get their opinions on the project as well. Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Wiedie thinks the gym is going to be a major plus in getting recruits to commit to playing at UF.
“I think this will play a huge part in getting recruits to commit. When you don’t have the biggest locker room, like many other schools do, you have to look for other selling points. Obviously, they are going to look at campus and everything else that goes into deciding on a school, but having a nice facility to play in is a major selling point for us to use when trying to get recruits to commit,” said Wiedie.
Not only will future players want to play in the facility, but players who are already on UF teams will be anxious to play in the newly renovated facility as well.
“The renovations give Croy a new feel,” said senior basketball player Kelsey Lewis. “I think it looks really sharp and I am excited to have the opportunity to play in it this season.”
Givens and the athletic administration were also very pleased with the result of how the project turned out.
“If you were to ask most of our staff, I think they would say it turned out better than what we expected. We spent the time to make sure that what we did was best for everyone involved. We are very pleased and think it turned out better than expected,” said Givens.