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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Gosman field-house renovations replace ‘unplayable’ track

Published: January 21, 2011
Section: Sports

PHOTO BY Nafiz R. “Fizz” Ahmed/The Hoot

The indoor track and tennis courts in the Gosman Athletic Center were replaced during winter break after the NCAA determined the surfaces unplayable under the University Athletic Association’s standards.

“The surface was worn and tired and there were safety issues,” Senior Vice President for Administration Mark Collins said. “If you quickly changed directions on the tennis court, for example, the pad would basically go right out from under you.”

Collins said the university thad been working with the NCAA for two years trying to repair the 20-year-old track and courts made from Mondo Surface, but that the organization ultimately determined the areas needed to be completely redone before they could be used competitively.

“It’s a surface that gets a lot of wear and tear,” Collins said, adding that the track and courts are used not only by their respective Brandeis athletic teams, but also used recreationally by the community at large.

Renovating the track and courts cost $500,000 from the university capitol projects budget. The university also used proceeds from an insurance payment the university received two years ago when the field-house flooded.

Plagued by pieces of the track lifting up and becoming breached and deteriorated sand pits for triple and long jumps with metal sticking out, Collins said “the area had exceeded its useful life expectancy.”

The track and courts are not the only athletic areas that were in need of renovation. The Linsey Pool, for example, has been closed since 2008 due to deterioration.

“I have a lot of needs around campus,” Collins said. “Many, many, many things need to be repaired. But the track has been on the list for years and now it was a safety hazard.”

Collins said the renovation of the track and tennis courts came at roughly the annual price it would take to operate the Linsey pool.

“That’s not even counting the $2.5 to $3 million we would have to spend to renovate the pool just to get it up and running,” he said.

Now the field-house, in addition to having a new surface, also has a new color-scheme, going from green and red, to a Brandeisian blue and gray.

“It really brings the space together,” Collins said. “It’s so Brandeis.”