Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor
Richards Memorial Gym was originally renovated in 2013 and has gone through recent additional renovations from December 2017 to May 2018.
Numerous changes were made to the foundation of the basketball court, the locker rooms and the dance studio.
The new and improved space is now available for use for all sports and recreation.
One team that benefited from the updates is football.
Senior Derrell Mims, who plays defensive back for the Vikings, said that a locker room can be important for team bonding.
“If you ask all the players what they like most about being on the team, they aren’t going to say winning,” Mims said. “They’re going to say being around their brothers. I think adding the locker room has everyone hanging out and coming together.”
Junior wide reciever Mason Kinsey elaborated on the benefits of the new space.
“We got some extra space and added like 20 to 30 lockers,” Kinsey said. “We now have couches and lounge chairs and surround sound.”
The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams also had major changes made to their locker rooms. Both the coaches and players benefit from the added space.
The dance studio was also remodeled with new flooring, added space and ballet stands provided by the Governor’s Honors Program.
The elevator and storage space, which took up a large portion of the dance space, were taken out to make room for extra mirrors.
Junior Amanda Tomlinson, dance troupe manager, explained how the changes made to the studio will benefit herself and other dancers.
“The marley (floor) makes dancing a lot easier, because we like to rehearse in socks,” Tomlinson said.
The dancers had a difficult time dancing on the slippery wood floors that were previously in the space. As a quick fix, they would crush up rosin, a material typically used on violins, to dip their feet in. The rosin helped with the slippery floors but was very sticky and hard to clean up.
“There’s less hassle with the marley.,” Tomlinson said. “When you walk on it, it doesn’t feel cushiony, but it provides a layer of protection from the concrete.”
Jeanne Schul, lecturer in dance, said that before, her office and her student workers’ offices were not even in the same space as the dance studio, but in the Moon building. Now, the studio and the dance offices are all located in Richards.
Tomlinson explained that certain maintenance is required due to the changes made to the studio.
“Because it’s so new, we need to take care of it,” Tomlinson said. “We can’t allow people to wear street shoes or any food or drink on the marley. It’s really hard to clean or scrub it because we have to treat it in a certain way.”
Richards Memorial Gym is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.