On February 14, 2013 new basketball courts behind Beck Hall were opened for play.
Construction on the new basketball courts and a grill patio on the south side of campus began in September 2012.
“The outdoor basketball courts and Class of ’44 grill patio were built to provide a space that was available to the students and to enhance the green space available on south campus,” said Terry Brown, the Director of Facilities Project Services.
The construction was performed by C&C Construction Inc. The work included installing storm water piping and basins, curbs and a retaining wall. They also installed underground electrics for the lighting, light bases, lights, basketball court surface, poles, backboards, rims and fencing. C&C Construction also had to relocate the underground water line and install walkways, pavers, stairs and ADA ramps. They had to remove the old Class of ’44 grill, build the new grill, construct the patio around the grill and install sod. All of this work was done at a cost of around $458,000.
The Class of ’44 grill space was created as an area to use for sponsored picnics and gatherings, alumni and student events as well as other campus gatherings.
The original Class of ’44 grill was located in parking lot F4, which is right by Risley Hall. This wood-burning grill had deteriorated over the years and had not been used for a while.
“It was important to the university to resurrect this grill as a focal point of the newly renovated area,” stated Brown.
The new grill, which is located by the basketball courts, was built using portions of the old grill but has new propane grills for cooking. Work on the grill is 90 percent complete but was stopped due to inclement weather. The work on the grill will resume in the spring along with the installation of the remaining sod.
The courts provide a place for students to gather and play basketball in an inviting outdoor setting. The basketball courts have lighting that would allow them to be used well into the evening hours. Lighting for the courts can be turned on by operating a timer switch and is available from 5 p.m. to midnight.
When asked how he and his friends could benefit from the new basketball courts, Nick Lofton said, “We can benefit from it because it’s a new space to hang out and it’s a quicker way to get exercise since the Rec Center is always filled most days. Since I live in Beck Hall, I could just go in and take a shower and then go right out to play again.”
By Samantha Biastre