Damaged gym floor to be remodeled based on community input

Abby Mendez

Due to a massive hail storm that came through in mid-July, the roof over Gym 1 was heavily damaged and the floor was beyond repair. In light of the turmoil that the country and community has been facing, the coaches and administration decided to give the students and community an opportunity to vote on the new design for the floor. 

“Bryan High is a pillar in our community,” boys basketball coach Jerron Reece said. “A lot of people attend games or have children and family members who play in games, so I thought it would be cool to give them a say in the court.”

The absence of Gym 1 has impacted many sports and clubs who utilize the space. 

“Gym space is already kind of limited with three gyms,” Reece said. “Now that we have two, I think it’s taught us a lot about how to collaborate as adults and how to work together for the good of our programs. It’s been difficult, but at the same time, it has been a lesson learned for us, even as adults, in working together.”

Coach Reece came up with the idea to let people vote on the new flooring after seeing the University of North Texas’ similar idea to raise community spirit. 

“I kind of bounced that idea off our coaches and our administration to see if that was something we could do here,” Reece said. “At the time, there was a lot of tension just with our country as a whole and things going on in the community, so I thought it would be a good idea to give them an opportunity to vote on something.”

The vote succeeded in raising community spirit, and the coaches and administration came up with four different designs to include in the vote.

“People were really excited,” Reece said. “Of course people had opinions on the designs and what they wanted to see, but I know a lot of people thought it was really cool that they got the opportunity to see the designs ahead of time and also have a say in voting.”

Not only did the coaches want the athletes to be excited, they wanted other people who weren’t as involved in athletics to have a say in the decision. 

“To me, giving fans and students input shows that both the coaches and players appreciate the support from these two groups,” JV girls basketball coach Ruth Whiteley said. “Both are very important to any athletic program.”

The new floor plan showcases the BHS in the center of the court, with the Viking logo located in the center of the free-throw lanes. 

“With the BHS, it gives it more of a classic look,” Reece said. “Which I think appeals to a lot of our older alumni. It also has a much more modern look with moving the logos to the lane, you see that a lot in professional sports.”

Along with this project, the coaches have more big ideas they would like to see implemented to try to utilize this new space.

“I hope that BISD will get a new scoreboard and additional bleachers for this gym,” Whiteley said. “The addition of these two things would allow us to hold varsity games there.” 

In preparation for the new renovations, the pieces of the old floor have been removed and the school auctioned off the pieces to raise spirit and give back to the community.

“The auction hopefully raises a lot of excitement in the community,” Reece said. “Especially for those who played or coached on the floor, they get to have an opportunity to have a piece of that forever, which is really cool.”

The new floor is set to be finished by the end of the semester and will be utilized by programs and sports such as cheer, color guard, basketball, and volleyball. 

“This gym was the original gym for BHS,” Whiteley said. “It had the best gym floor in the district. I am sure that former players and coaches will be proud when they see the new gym floor and its new design.”

Despite the inconveniences caused by the situations surrounding the floor renovations, coaching staff and administration are making the best of the situation. 

“Pretty unfortunate the way it happened,” Reece said. “But I’m really excited to see how it turns out and to make new memories on it.” 

The auction for the pieces included twenty six “6 x 6” squares of the floor and ran from September 25th- October 1st, earning right under $1,000 with each piece being sold for between $10-$155. The money goes back into the general fund.