Excitement building for Central High gym

Posted in: News
By Todd Brooks
Sep 5, 2013 - 9:54:17 AM

FINAL TOUCHESCentral High Superintendent Bennie Newton looked around the nearly completed school gym and smiled.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s almost done.”
The project started in 2012. If all goes according to plan, this time next month the gym could be filled with the sound of dribbling basketballs.
Most of the building part of the project is finished. The basketball court has been laid; basketball goals have been hung; locker rooms have sturdy wooden lockers and only lack plumbing fixtures.  
Bleachers arrived last week. The visitors’ side of the gym is complete and workers were installing the home stands this week. The home side will feature 150 chair-back seats at center court. The arena is expected to seat approximately 1,000 people total, 500 on each side.
Fans will be able to see courtside action while buying popcorn and soda – not missing moment.
There is no doubt what school the gym belongs to. Along with a huge Broncho at center court, the upper wall on the east side features a mural of stampeding horses. “Bronchos” and “Lady Bronchos” inscribed on the court.
School board president Jerry Howell was also present, and was impressed by what he saw.
“There is no doubt this is the home of the Bronchos,” Howell said. “That’s the way I like it.”
After the bleacher construction is complete, the court will receive another coat of varnish. What remains is painting and touch-up work.
Scoreboards should arrive soon. Newton said he decided to go with scoreboards on each end of the floor as opposed to having a big one hanging down at center court.
“I talked to a school that got the hanging scoreboard and they said if they had to do it over again, they wouldn’t get the hanging one,” Newton said. “To me, it’s easier to look at the side than to have to keep looking up.”
The scoreboard on the west side of the gym will be large and have the numbers of the players on the floor along with their point totals. Above the scoreboard will be a video screen for announcements.
Project manager Dan Blanton has only been on the job three weeks, but thinks construction has been going well.
“I think we’re doing pretty good,” Blanton said as the sound of power tools in the background filled the air. “We’re doing the best we can and moving on. Everybody is working on getting it done. This is a very nice gym for such a small school.”
In approximately two weeks, the architect will receive his “punch list”. The architect will go over the construction thoroughly, looking at everything from construction, painting, electrical work, and everything in between.
“Once he gets done with his punch list, he will give it back to the construction manager and he will fix anything that the architect says needs to be fixed,” Newton said. “They’ve given themselves two weeks to complete the projects that come back on the punch list.”
The superintendent does not have a definitive date when he will be handed the keys to the gym, though it appears to be the early part of October.
At the last school board meeting, it was mentioned working with the city in order to have the grand opening. Newton said nothing has been set yet.