Borden Gym Undergoes Multiple Renovations; Fitness Center To Be Upgraded

In light of the recent bad weather, Borden Gym is currently undergoing repairs to make the facility weatherproof. Director of Athletics Michael Kuta said the improvements include the sealing of the roof and all the openings around the windows, doors and fixtures and reappointment of some of the masonry. In addition to the resealing, the gym floor has been refinished and repairs are currently being made in the fitness center in order to repair a leak in the windows. Kuta said there will be additional improvements to the Fitness Center along with the sealing of the openings, including the addition of new equipment, such as the scoreboard that was installed last spring. Associate Director of Operations and Capital Projects Larry Muench said, “The masonry was found to be leaking in about twenty-some buildings on campus because of the storms we had in late April.” The gym is the last building in a long line of construction projects around campus. “We did a lot of work over the summer. We’ve prioritized all those buildings that needed repairs and [the gym] is one of the last buildings we’re doing which is why the scaffolding is still up,” said Muench. “We really wanted to get the dormitories and classroom buildings repaired first by the start of the term. We worked on them mainly over the summer. Morse Hall was finished up right about when the school year started, and now the gym is last,” said Muench. “The last two years we’ve focused on the envelope of the buildings, whether it’s poor brick masonry or poor paint or roofing. We’ve tried to work on making all the buildings weather tight which is important,” he continued. The Borden Gym was built in several stages, beginning in 1902. The offices, the girls’ locker room, the ramp and the dance studio were built at different times with different materials. Kuta said, “It’s a bigger challenge to keep [this area] water tight because of the different expansion rates of the different materials.” According to Muench, the last major renovation to the gym was made in 1978, when the Abbot Wing of the gym, which includes the fitness center, the dance and wrestling room and the girls’ locker rooms were constructed. “The [gym] structure itself is in good shape. The fitness center floor was repaired this summer and we found that there were some rotted areas of wood, so that was a good thing to find,” said Muench. “We really find leaks from the rain, and over a number of years we’ve addressed a lot of the bricks and sealed them. The windows that go out from the fitness center have been a problem in the past. We repaired the seals this year so that [the windows] wouldn’t leak. A lot of it is to keep the weather out, but the gym in itself is in decent shape,” Muench continued. “Every year it seems that we repair certain areas. One year the sky-lighting was a project. Another year, we put air-conditioner in the fitness center, and another year we finished the basketball court floors. Every year on our renewal list there is a number of projects […] There haven’t been a lot of large-scale projects,” Muench said. Kuta said, “The major guidepost for me is not to compromise the students’ experience. It’s very important that the kids have a quality experience.” “I think we have to be responsible to the kids over the foreseeable future until we get a new complex. That might be, who knows; it’s not within the next ten years. My focus is that we have to be responsible to these kids so that they have an enjoyable experience. […] When you have a nicer facility, you have a nicer program,” he continued.