Campus / News / May 4, 2016

Senate to renovate basketball court



The basketball court outside the Quads is one that is often overlooked by students, with a run-down hoop, poor asphalt and no place to borrow a basketball on campus. Student Senate wishes to change that.

Senate President Charlie Harned has assembled a committee of senate members who are writing and planning proposals for renovating the outdoor area by the Quads. They are hoping to have their first proposal brought before Senate in the next few weeks.

The primary issue that Senate would like to address is the lack of lighting in many outdoor areas. There are not many outdoor places where students can hang out at night that are well-lit.

The lighting is also an issue of campus safety. During Fall Term, a student was assaulted in this area of campus. The campus safety walk that Senate hosted that term, the prominent concern mentioned was poor lighting.

Harned chose the basketball court area near the Quads because it’s close to both freshman and sophomore housing, while not being too far from where upperclassmen live.

“The basketball court itself is in bad shape; it’s not a good looking court. So that’s a key part of the renovation idea as well,” Harned said.

The goals of the renovation are to add a nicer hoop to the court as well as revamp the court itself, with coarse asphalt or a rubber sport court that would be laid on top of the asphalt. Seating areas are also a must for Senate, and they hope to add both benches and hammocks for students to use in warmer weather.

The renovations are also going to be eco-friendly. The committee has been working closely with Sustainability Director Deborah Steinberg on their preliminary plans. One of the design aspects of the renovation is the inclusion of a solar table, which has a solar panel in place of an umbrella, and uses that power to charge laptops and other electronics so students can work outside. The table might be added to the Gizmo or Alumni Hall patio instead, as plans aren’t final.

As the proposals progress, the task force plans to run everything past the campus environment committee, and eventually Chief Financial Officer Keith Archer and President Teresa Amott.

While the plans are not fully developed as of yet, the committee has plans to introduce different aspects of the design as time goes on.

“It’s a project that can be done in piecemeal, we don’t have to appropriate x thousand of dollars, right now, to have it all done over the summer. It’s something we can add to,” Harned said.

The first piece of the renovation that they hope to propose is the introduction of lights to the outdoor area. If the lights have a good impact on campus and more people tend to be using that space, Senate will have more reason to add more to the area and renovate more.

“I hardly ever see somebody out there playing basketball, hardly ever. Is it because it’s a poor hoop with a poor court and you can only do it when the sun is up or is it because there’s no need to play outdoor basketball on the campus? So that’s something we’re trying to gauge,” Harned said.


Erika Riley, Editor-in-Chief
Erika Riley is a junior majoring in creative writing and minoring in journalism. During her sophomore year, she worked as a news editor, and during her freshman year, she worked as a layout editor. She is the winner of the 2017 Ida M. Tarbell Prize for Investigative Reporting and the recipient of First Place Front Page Layout from the Illinois Press Association in 2016. Twitter: @ej_riley

Tags:  basketball renovation Student Senate

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