The Pottruck Health and Fitness Center basketball courts, which were closed for repairs to water damage, are scheduled to reopen Oct. 14.
While the renovation is underway, students are using the basketball courts at Weightman Hall and the Tse Center, both located on 33rd Street, said director of sports communications Michael Mahoney. The courts were closed over the summer as officials planned renovations, which officially began on Sept. 11, said Dave Pancoe, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services project manager.
The renovation project to replace the flooring will cost around $500,000, said facilities associate athletic director Noah Gustkey.
The water damage to the basketball courts was caused by storms that had not been forecast over the summer during the roof renovation, said Mike Dausch, Executive Director of FRES Design and Construction.
“We’ve had more big rainstorms this summer than we’ve had in the history of the region,” Dausch said.
Instead of repairing the part of the floor damaged by water, FRES decided to renovate the entire floor of the basketball court.
“Some of the concerns with the floor repair were the age of the floor and possible further damage to the floor, as it has already exceeded its useful life,” Dausch said. “So we took the opportunity to come in and replace the whole floor and bring it up to date.”
The 51-year-old floor will be replaced with a more modern floor, similar to what is currently used in the Palestra and the John R. Rockwell Gymnasium at the Tse Center.
“[The old floor] actually exceeded what would normally be considered the normal lifespan of a gymnasium floor,” Dausch said.
Pancoe said the new floor is a two-part system, with a subfloor and a maple hardwood floor on top.
“It’s a state-of-the-art system. When you jump and land, it’s much easier on your knees and joints, which can significantly reduce injuries from floors,” Pancoe said.
Gustkey said there have been many major renovations and investments over the years in sports facilities.
“There have been quite a few improvements in the gymnasium to improve conditions for student-athletes,” Gustkey added.
Pottruck opened in 2002 and was recently ranked the second-best on-campus recreation center in the nation, after the University of Chicago’s Gerald Ratner Athletic Center. It has been described as “the best campus recreation facility in the region” by College Consensus.