Generations of UConn success tales have been released at Gampel Pavilion around the previous a few decades – not only among the UConn student athletes, but also tens of hundreds of Huskies who’ve participated in orientation gatherings, job fairs, and their Commencement ceremonies there.
And although legends of all varieties of have experienced their commence crossing that storied court, the 33-year-old wooden flooring is reaching the conclusion of its useful life and will be replaced immediately after spring semester with a new maple surface.
The flooring was put in shortly prior to Gampel opened in January 1990 and has been sanded and refinished each year to hold it in playable situation — even as UConn teams have garnered 15 nationwide championships concerning the men’s and women’s basketball groups, and two Significant East championships for UConn volleyball.
Nevertheless, the court docket has reached the finish of its beneficial lifestyle and can not be even more sanded, and desires to be replaced right before the 2023-24 basketball and volleyball seasons start off subsequent autumn.
The Board of Trustees recently accredited the undertaking, which will entail getting rid of the wood flooring, inspecting and repairing the subfloor, putting in the new maple ground, and ending it with sanding and closing painting.
Playing courts in athletics amenities like Gampel contain exclusive capabilities these types of as a certain amount of “give” in the subfloor to stop extremely jarring impacts on athletes’ joints and muscle tissue. They also ought to have the suitable markings, accredited faculty logos, and other NCAA-compliant standards.
“Gampel Pavilion is one particular of the excellent higher education basketball venues in the region with so a lot of Husky greats owning taken that courtroom, producing plenty of signature times in the course of the past 33 several years,” UConn Athletic Director David Benedict states.
“The time has occur for that legendary hardwood to be replaced as we continue on to retain our aim on retaining our facilities at the optimum degree so we can offer our coaches and scholar-athletes the applications they need to have to compete for championships,” he provides.
“There is no far better time to be a component of UConn Nation, as our nationally rated men’s and women’s basketball plans are in the midst of great seasons and searching to close out this period of the historic Gampel Pavilion courtroom with a few additional championship memories.”
With its exclusive dome and its storied heritage in the middle of the Storrs campus, Gampel Pavilion has been element of the UConn landscape because it opened on Jan. 27, 1990, when the men’s basketball workforce defeated St. John’s.
Various servicing and improve tasks have been completed at Gampel around the decades to make sure it retains its special character though also incorporating contemporary touches acceptable to the “Basketball Capital of the Planet.” A single of the most significant – replacement of the iconic triangular inside roof dome panels, quite a few of which experienced turn into light and peeling – was carried out in 2017.
The work to swap the playing court docket will begin later this spring after Commencement. And what is to turn into of all those legendary wood planks the moment they are taken off to make way for their replacements?
Which is but to be established, but a single point is specified about the courtroom: “It will not be thrown in the rubbish, let us set it that way,” UConn Board of Trustees Dan Toscano ’87 (BUS) explained at a latest meeting.
Provided the taking part in court’s symbolism and significance to UConn Nation, athletics division officers are brainstorming with others on methods to make items available to persons, probably as section of a fundraising initiative. Particulars are still being labored out and will be announced when readily available.