Rain delays halt gym construction

By Luis Cortez, Advocate Staff

As the rainy season continues through the winter and into spring, inclement weather has delayed progress of the $29.5 million Gymnasium renovation project calling into question the original completion date for construction work.

Building and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the rain delayed the laying of the foundation to accommodate two new modular buildings that will be used as a swing space until the Men’s and Women’s locker room’s are completed.

The units will be placed between Comet Stadium and the Tennis Courts and will be fabricated off campus then delivered and assembled at Contra Costa College.

Most of the construction expenses are soft costs which include architectural payments and inspection fees, King said.

He said the rain delayed the laying of foundation of the modular building, which will be used by the kinesiology department while the buildings under renovation are not usable.

The project hopes to continue to progress during warm weather months, when the modular building is slated to arrive.

King said some details of the project must still be approved by the district Governing Board later this month.

Major renovations on the four buildings that house the athletic department — the Gymnasium, Men’s Locker Room, Women’s Locker Room and the Gym Annex Building, will begin on May 1.

King said the Tennis Courts would be made into a multi-sport facility to accommodate badminton and tennis, along with other activities. The improvement will include the re-surfacing of the courts and the drawing of multiple sport out-of-bounds lines.

The project will cause all but two areas of those buildings to close, the Pool and Fitness Center. They will be open during construction that is slated to last through three semesters.

With the Gymnasium renovation having a 14-month-long timeline, the volleyball team and men’s and women’s basketball teams will have their practices and games played off campus.

The renovation has already affected some kinesiology and P.E. activity classes that have been forced to temporarily relocate to the Applied Arts Annex Building.

Athletic Director John Wade said the department is working to find somewhere for the teams to practice and is considering local K-12 schools as a possible solution.

Comet athletic teams are also looking at places to host home games. “Diablo Valley College (in Pleasant Hill) has been discussed as a possible location for both basketball and volleyball games,” Wade said.

Some basketball players won’t have to face the hectic relocation and feel lucky to have played on the current Gymnasium floor.

This is the case for sophomore guard Evan Thompson who feels glad he didn’t have to go anywhere else to play.

“I’m glad I was able to play this year at the school and not somewhere else,” Thompson said.

However, Thompson said the Gymnasium renovation will be a cool thing for the campus.