After multiple years in the works, YHS will be renovating its gym. As one of the most central parts of the school, it can be surprising how little the gym has changed over the years. In fact, its bleachers are the same ones from when the gym originally was constructed. However, this and many other aspects of the facility are soon to change. Beginning in late spring, YHS will be updating the gym for sports and the numerous other activities that take place there every year to enjoy.
According to Superintendent Hattar, the new renovations are going to provide remarkable improvements. Perhaps one of the first changes one would notice is the heating and air conditioning. Currently, AC is not featured in the gym, which can partially explain why the climate in the room is occasionally uncomfortable. Dr. Hattar expects the renovations to eradicate this issue. “We’re going to have a climate-controlled facility, which is a terrific thing,” he happily shared. He expects this to have a positive impact on many events hosted in the gym, which go much further than phys ed classes, such as Bandapalooza and Regents testing. “We’re also looking at if there’s anything else we can use this space for in light of the fact that it’s climate controlled,” Dr. Hattar added. This could lead to some potentially exciting opportunities at YHS, as there can be some new events featured in the gym that weren’t previously possible.
Dr. Hattar is especially looking forward to adding new bleachers. “Not just for aesthetics,” he said, “but they need to be upgraded for safety reasons as well.” He mentioned that they lack the side rails that are so important to keep everyone secure. However, new bleachers will not be the only visual change in the gym. The floor will be repainted, and the basketball hoops are to be replaced with newer, still retractable ones. Other changes may not be seen but heard. Dr. Hattar shared his excitement about a new sound system, which can make announcements, music, and other sounds much clearer. Acoustic panels will be installed as well, which can muffle the irritating echo that is currently in the gym.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the renovations is that they will not be limited to the gym. Some big differences can be seen outside soon enough. Tables will be added near the concession trailer to serve as a place where some people can sit during events. They are socially distant as well, making them viable during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Even more exciting is additional bleachers by the turf, something that will be of great use during football and lacrosse games. Overall, the renovations should make the YHS athletic areas more up to date.
The renovations are set to begin in the latter part of the spring. Most of the renovations will occur in late June, July, and the first half of August. According to Dr. Hattar, “There will be days where the gym will be offline and gym classes will move to outside, which is honestly a good thing.” Though he mentioned that disruptions such as these will be rare, he and other administrators are working to keep them as minimal as possible. No definite timeline for completion can be said yet, and elements are subject to change, but the current plan is to have the facilities ready for the opening of the next school year. The administrators have been working very hard over the past two years to get this work underway, and they were careful not to give the go-ahead until they were confident the pandemic would not disrupt the supplies or workforce needed. Despite all the hard work needed for the planning, Dr. Hattar is happy about what is to come. He stated, “I think people will be very pleased when they see the finished product come the fall.”