Renovations underway


Denis Perez

Construction equipment sits outside the gymnasium in preparation for renovation set to begin late October.

By Joel Umanzor, Staff Writer

The Contra Costa College athletic facility renovations are slated to begin Spring 2019 and preparations are in order for the future adjustments students, athletes and faculty will have to make around the construction.

Structural renovations, which were voted and approved in August 2016, will directly affect the Tennis Courts, Gymnasium, Men’s and Women’s locker rooms and the Gym Annex Building and will take approximately 18 months to complete with a budget of $29.4 million.

Although the actual date for breaking ground has not been officially confirmed, the initial stages of work to the athletic department are already taking place.

First, the Tennis Courts will need to be resurfaced to be able to hold a variety of classes that usually would be held inside the Gymnasium.

Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King and his crew are already preparing “swing spaces” around the athletic area.

“We have to get the existing buildings ready for swing space which means they can occupy something else while the work is being done in the actual buildings,” King said. “They’ll bring in some modular buildings they’ll use for offices or classes that will be right next to the handball courts.

“Impact on our grounds will be very minimal actually. They’ll block off a lot of stuff around those buildings. It means there will be less things for us to cover in those areas,” King said.

CCC volleyball coach Christy Tianero said the construction will have “no impact” on her upcoming season.

As with all construction projects there is an understanding of fluidity that comes with the territory.

“I would think the 18 months starts in 2019 and so its 2020 and 2021 (when the project will be completed). It would be great if it was sooner.” he said.

Once these swing spaces are established, the issue of impact on the indoor sports teams games and practices during the 2019 and 2020 seasons remain.

Athletic Director John Wade said the 18-month renovation would impact the college’s intercollegiate athletic teams, but the athletic department is trying to work with local institutions, high schools, the Richmond Auditorium and others to find locations for games to be played.

Many factors will come into play when evaluating the venues that will host Comet games from 2019 to 2020.

When considering the idea of a local middle school like nearby Walter T. Helms hosting Comet games, Wade said the standard playing requirements of the sport needed to be attainable wherever a team is going to play.

Wade said, “It would be better to be at a high school because the problem is, depending on the sport, there’s different tiers of facilities with different (court) lengths. We are trying to get as close as we can to regulation.”

Scheduling will be made specifically so that all the indoor teams practices and games can be made without conflict and with enough contingencies in place.

The 2018 Comet indoor sports teams — men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball — will not be affected by the upcoming renovations but will be handling business as usual with knowledge that brand new facilities are coming soon.