Construction Pain for UC Student Athletes

Mina Orlic, Editor-in-Chief

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   The last couple of months of the 2017-2018 school year at UC High left the school with a multitude of confused students, disgruntled office workers, and a construction crew. The new gym and locker room renovations were expected to be finished by the time school started in August; yet it is now October and the construction is still not done. However impressive these new upgrades may be when they’re finally finished, this ongoing construction has made life harder on UC High’s student-athletes.

    Due to construction, the UC High gym was not available to sports teams until the first week of school. This proved to be a challenge for some fall sports teams because their seasons started in early August. Teams were forced to find gym time at other schools. Girls Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Amanda Wiggins explained that the construction company paid for the team to play at The Salvation Army because they were not yet finished; however, the team had to pay, using their own money, to use Mission Bay High’s gym for a camp they held before school started.

    Seeing as the locker rooms are off limits during construction, students are scrambling to find alternative storage for their athletic gear. Sophomore Kaliya Shoemaker said, “There are a lot of us that have to find somewhere to put our bags, because we don’t have cars. Teacher’s classrooms are turning into locker rooms.” Junior Hunter Harrison added, “Football is using bins instead of lockers and there’s a risk that our stuff will get stolen. Luckily, we haven’t had that problem, but with the bins everywhere there’s hardly any room to walk or change.”

  As a result of the locker rooms being closed, students have packed the bathrooms right after school, attempting to get ready for practice. Junior Melina Walker commented, “It’s annoying, for sports, that we have to change and get ready somewhere else.” Shoemaker said, “My practices start at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and right after school, every bathroom on campus is full of players from all different sports trying to change and get ready for practice. This makes it difficult because there’s not a lot of space.”

    In addition to the renovations on the gym and locker rooms, the school is also redoing the trainer’s room. Currently, Athletic Trainer Cassie Farnsworth has been relocated to a storage room past the snack bar at the football stadium. This makes it more challenging for athletes to receive treatment. With little or no time before the start of practice, athletes now have to walk up towards the football field, then wait for their turn to receive aid from Farnsworth.     

   While the renovations are currently causing multiple problems for student-athletes, they do realize that in the end, everyone will benefit from these changes. Junior Nicole Muttera said, “I think the renovations are going to be really cool when they’re done, but right now it’s just annoying.” There’s no doubt that the improvements will have a positive impact on the UC High sports program; however, all this construction is creating new challenges for student-athletes that could have been avoided if the construction was finished on time.

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