SHADYSIDE - Athletes using the Shadyside High School gym will have a bit more spring in their step this fall - literally.
That's due to the new court being installed in the 57-year-old facility.
Crews are in the process of putting the finishing touches on the layout, which is expected to be finished for a Lady Tigers volleyball match on August 18.
THE TIGERS’ Den, also known as the Shady-side High School gymnasium, is undergoing a total renovation project. Work on the 57-year-old facility is scheduled to be finished for an Aug. 18 volleyball match.
''It will be a lot more forgiving (than the old floor) for our athletes, that's for sure,'' Shadyside Superintendent and High School Principal John Haswell noted while taking a look at the new product, which has made the gym much brighter.
The original floor was as old as the gym itself. Problems with it started to occur as soon as one year after it was put down and continued off and on since.
Recent years saw those problems continue to fester, so much so the well-being of the athletes that played on it were being compromised.
''I spent 16 years in here as a phys ed teacher and there were times we couldn't even come in here and use it,'' Haswell said.
''There were boards popping up and a kid could really get hurt. The (Board of Education) realized this and, plus, this is the 1957 section of the building and we know we'll be able to save this section of the building.
''This was done through Permanent Improvement Funds. And we definitely want to thank the citizens of Shadyside for allowing us to have the money to be able to do this.
''This is not something that was a luxury. This was something that had to be done because the old floor was dangerous.''
In making plans to install a new floor, school officials had to take into account the conditions inside the gym. That's why they went with Cincinnati Flooring.
''We went with them because this is actually a specialized floor,'' Haswell explained. ''We had to get this type of floor because of the high humidity and heat conditions in our gym.
''The old gym floor was put in in 1957 and started coming up in 1958, so Cincinnati Floors has guaranteed that this floor can withstand those adverse conditions.''
Not only will the gym have a new floor, there will also be new bleachers, too. They will be black and orange and when folded up via remote control will display SHS and Tiger head.
Also, with help from the school's sports foundation, four fiberglass backboards are being purchased for the side baskets. And, starting this year, all baskets in the gym will be able to be raised via remote control.
Work on the project started after the winter season concluded. The first step was the removal of the old, wooden bleachers. And, for that, the school turned to John Triveri's work student students.
''Once Mr. Haswell approved the project we were able to use the work study kids to disassemble all the wood and metal on the bleachers and recycle the metal cages for a little bit of money and put that in our general fund,'' said Triveri, also the school's athletic director.
''So, it was a cost saver.''
Triveri said his students worked during the last two or three periods of each school day for about two months.
''They had a lot of fun doing it, it was a big cost save for the district and it got the job done quickly,'' he said.
Triveri and Haswell estimate having students help saved about one month of project time.
The removal of tar and asbestos abatement from underneath the floor was more extensive than officials estimated, but the delays that caused was made up by the diligent work of the crews performing the work, Haswell noted.
At this point, the markings are about to the made on the floor, along with the logos.
''The markings are all up to OHSAA standards,'' Triveri said.
Volleyball court lines will be in orange, with basketball lines in black. There will be Tiger paws on each side of the court and a large Shadyside logo at midcourt.
Also new with the court, it will have the capability to have two volleyball nets up at once.
Haswell, a Shadyside alum, can't wait to see the finished product, and for the community to see it, too.
''This place, when it's done, will be unbelievable.''