By Angela Lingg
Renovations on the Sports Arena are scheduled to begin sometime next month according to Dr. Carter File, HCC president.
All the plans for the arena are going ahead as scheduled.
However, there has been an addition of a third gym on the north side of the arena, which was not in the original plan.
“We believe we will be able to get a third gym in there, and that is in the plans moving forward,” File said.
There had been discussions of installing a suspended indoor running track around the three gyms, but the running track was never a part of the original plan for the renovation of the Sports Arena. After consideration, the committee decided it was too costly to install.
“The infrastructure necessary for that would be cost prohibitive,” File said. “It would cost about a million dollars to put the track in and there is just not enough room in the budget to do that.”
According to Dr. File, the walking track that is already in the arena will remain there for the public to use.
Everything else is continuing as planned, including the new entrance, air conditioning, new locker rooms, and much more.
The renovations to the arena should not affect the NJCAA men’s basketball tournament, if everything goes as planned.
“They will not work on the main bowl of the arena until after the tournament is finished and then they will work on the main bowl, prior to next season,” said Josh Gooch, the HCC athletic director.
According to Dan Naccarato, an instructor and coach at HCC, the improved arena is expected to make quite a statement.
“I don’t know of another city in America of forty 40,000 people, where when you come down 11th you’ll see the Sports Arena, the Fine Arts Center, Gowan’s stadium, Hutchinson Community College, and the high school Salt Hawks complex,” Naccarato said. “It’ll be right in the middle of town. It’ll be a pretty cool deal.”