The carpet-covered floor of the Cleveland Community College gymnasium is no more.
Over the last month, college maintenance staff have been tearing out carpet, removing glass panels and taking out everything but the stage on the far end of the gym. The work is being done as the college prepares to renovate its gym to properly support three new sports programs.
In 2023-24 year, the college will begin offering court volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams to its athletic offerings.
“We are in the process of renovating our current gymnasium so it will be able to host those three teams,” said Chris Nanney, athletic director at Cleveland Community College. “It is now ready for us to start putting in a basketball court and bleachers as well as paint the lines for basketball and for volleyball.”
Over the summer the college will begin sourcing bids for construction on the gym floor and bleachers. Nanney said the goal is to have the gym built and ready by the fall.
“The reason we are pushing to get it done that soon is we are in the process of hiring coaches for those sports. We want to get those coaches in place this summer and then they would have a year to recruit,” said Nanney. “Hopefully this fall by having the gym completed, as they bring students on campus to recruit, they would have that gym to show them.”
Also in 2023, the college will offer track and field events.
“It is kind of an offshoot of our cross country program in that it provides our fall cross country athletes, most of who are middle distance runners, a place to train and compete in the spring,”
The college is in the process of creating a trail for cross country and track and field students to train on at the college’s north campus on North Post Road. That trail is being built by students in the school’s heavy machine operator program.
The announced expansions are the latest in Cleveland Community College’s foray into college athletics. When the college announced its intention to enter the world of junior collegiate athletics, it did so with a five-year plan to have several teams, including baseball and basketball, operating by 2024.
“We are right on schedule with what we set out initially,” said Nanney. “We have been really really happy with the success of our teams, and I think that is encouraging as we continue to add to our teams. Our cross country women’s team were women’s champs. Our softball and baseball teams made their regional tournament, baseball made second in their tournament.”
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or Dustin.George@ShelbyStar.com.