By Kate Orensky and Adam Johnson
Over the summer, new bleachers were installed in the main gym at Godwin High School. The faculty of Godwin decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to install new ones as the old bleachers were original to the school, dating back to 1980, and were not compliant with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This new addition brings a positive change for intramural sports because there are now three fewer bleacher rows on the visitor side of the gym, which allows for more room behind the player benches and score table.
The new bleachers are also beneficial for school events because the new design is sturdier and safer for student and parent viewers.
“This renovation was much needed and I feel great about it,” said principal Leigh Dunavant.
Aside from the physical design of the bleachers, the color has also been changed from tan to gray.
“Gray was selected in order to attempt to brighten up the gym, and they would show less dirt than if the bleachers were black,” said athletic director Tom Nadeau.
This renovation extended over two months. The remodeling process was extensive.
“This process began in 2017 when I started researching the cost associated with replacing the bleachers. Knowing the age of our existing set, I met with companies to get quotes,” said Nadeau.
After getting pricing quotes, Nadeau had to receive approval from the Board of Supervisors and the School Board. Plans to replace the bleachers were finalized in March, and the old bleachers were removed in July.
The pandemic caused a delay in the construction of the bleachers.
“The factory that produces the bleachers had production decreased due to COVID so our start date was delayed,” said Nadeau.
The completion date for the bleachers was set to be the first week in September, and they were finished on Sept. 3.
“All funds from this project were allotted by the Board of Supervisors. No school funds were used,” said Nadeau.
According to senior varsity basketball player Joe Thompson, the new renovation has updated the look of the gym.
“I think it gives Godwin a modern, new look. Before the newly renovated bleachers, the gym really didn’t have anything that stood out, but now I think it gives off a new vibe that the students and faculty are excited about,” said Thompson.
photo courtesy Tom Nadeau