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Basketball court 'disappears' from Alumni Gym

Here’s something you may not have known: A worker riding a sanding machine on the hardwood floor of a gymnasium can reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour, yet removing the paint from a basketball court still takes about two weeks. Such is the schedule for a father-and-son team that started work Tuesday on the floor of Alumni Gym as part of renovations to the home of the Elon Phoenix basketball and volleyball teams.

Oscar Ocampo works Wednesday afternoon on sanding off the painted basketball court in Alumni Gym, which is undergoing renovations this summer as part of a gift from Elon trustee Jeanne Robertson and he husband, Jerry.

The sanding project is expected to finish by July 23. A short video clip of the work can be viewed on the Facebook fan page for the Elon Phoenix.

“It’s not that much of a process,” said Ramsey Ocampo, who is working with his dad, Oscar, on the project for Raleigh-based R.L. Dresser, which specializes in athletic flooring systems. “It just requires sanding it using six different types of paper. With each pass it gets smoother.”

Ocampo said the varnish and paint take four days to remove before finer sandpaper can be used to smooth the wood. Once complete, the basketball court will be repainted 8 feet, 6 inches closer to the south end of the building to make room for additional seating planned for the concourse entrance to the gym.

Renovations in Alumni Gym, made possible by a gift from trustee Jeanne Robertson and her husband, Jerry, have been divided into two phases, with Phase I now underway and Phase II scheduled for next summer.

During Phase I, new theater-style seating with individual armrests will be installed in a letter “U” configuration as the gym floor is refinished. In recognition of the Robertsons' gift, the basketball floor in the gym will be named Robertson Court. Phase II includes renovations in the entire Koury Athletic Center.

The plan to create a new south entrance as part of Phase II will return the gym to its original design. When the building opened in 1950, the main entrance was on the south end of the gym, including a ticket window and restrooms. The south entrance was closed when Alumni Gym underwent a major renovation in 1994 as part of the Koury Center construction.


Eric Townsend,
7/15/2010 9:53 AM