Kates construction completed


Crews worked all summer in Kates to have it ready for the first home volleyball game of the season. A new floor, bleachers, lighting, basketball hoops, scoreboards, and even new paint on the walls were a part of Kates transformation.

By Teresa Williams

Kates Gymnasium experienced extensive renovations over the summer. With a new floor as well as upgraded bleachers, lighting, and sound system, the gym will serve as a spotlight for the Ashland University athletic teams as they compete this fall and winter.

Athletic Director Bill Goldring indicated that the newly renovated gym aligns with the initial plans for the project.

“This is definitely coming out the way we envisioned it. It is very classy looking and clean and it will serve the purposes that we wanted with that gym,” Goldring said. “I’m very pleased at this stage.”

One of the main upgrades involved the gym floor. The forty-six year old floor was replaced with new hardwood complete with an AU design on the court. Besides its sleek appearance, Goldring indicated that the floor will be safer for athletes and help reduce strain on their legs as they run up and down the gym court.

Another area of the gym embodies the new bleachers. They possess a more contemporary appearance and will provide a comfortable seating arrangement for fans. Handrails were also added to increase safety for individuals sitting at the top of the bleachers.

In addition, Kates features new lights at various points throughout the gym and will enhance the atmosphere during sporting events.

“The lighting is drastically improved and needed to be across the board.” Goldring said.

Aside from lighting, the gym now possesses a more advanced sound system.

“The sound system was certainly better than what we had but not up to standards and this is state of the art,” Goldring said. “This is a fantastic sound system.”

Overall, the gym renovations have closely followed the schedule and are nearing completion. With only a few additions remaining in the process, teams will soon begin using the gym for their practices.

“They have been very true to the time table,” Goldring said.

Once the renovations are complete, the gym will serve as a highlight for athletes, coaches, fans and visitors from other schools.

“I think everybody is excited about it. We all knew it was something that was desperately needed. The first usage of the building was in 1967. It certainly needed to be updated and we went from close to the bottom to close to the top in our facilities,” Goldring said.

Essentially, the upgrades will help strengthen the appearance of the AU programs as a whole.

“It will dramatically help the sports that are in there and help the overall image of the athletic department and the university,” Goldring said.

Goldring expressed gratitude for Dr. Fred Finks for providing the initial approval of the plan and also the physical plant employees and contractors who worked on the project.

He said that many of the people that spent time working on the gym renovations in the summer commented on its impressive appearance.

“They like working with our people here and they can see what we envisioned and what we wanted to do.” Goldring said. “It has been all positive.”