New bleachers bring added comfort and increased accessibility
The Clark-Danielson Gymnasium received a huge upgrade last month with the installation of new bleachers. The new bleachers can seat around 450 people; 120 seats include backs for added comfort. The previous wooden bleachers had been in the gym since it was originally built in 1981.
North Central athletic director, Jon High, said: “The old bleachers were becoming more and more difficult to repair and keep up to the proper codes. So it was obvious that we needed an upgrade.”
On Jan. 20, the bleacher replacement process began. Over the course of four days, the old bleachers were removed, the wall behind was repainted, the floors were refinished, and the new Interkal Telescopic Seating System was installed just in time for the Rams’ basketball games against rival Crown College.
The installation of the new bleachers was done by Seating and Athletic Facility Enterprises, LLC, a company located in Ellendale, MN. The project’s total cost was upward of $60,000.
The new bleachers are the latest part of an attempt to remodel the Clark-Danielson Gymnasium over the past 5 years. Previous upgrades were made in the form of new lights, scoreboards, backboards, and score tables.
“It’s nice because my grandma can sit in the bleachers during our games now,” says senior business administration major Ben Peters. “They are definitely more visually pleasing to the eye, and hopefully they will get more fans out to our games.”
An increase in fan support is not the only benefit the new bleachers possess. According to High, the main convenience will be the motorized system, which allows the bleachers to be moved in and out remotely.
A major problem with the old bleachers was the need to manually push or pull them in and out. With the new system, the bleachers can be moved in or out in a matter of seconds. This will make things easier for anyone using the gymnasium, including the North Central recreation and wellness department.
Senior media communications major and intramural director, Paul Brunner, also raves about the convenience of the new bleachers.
“With the old bleachers, I’d have to try and find some guys to help me pull them out, and then three hours later I’d have to push them back in,” says Brunner. “Most of the time, we wouldn’t pull them all out, just because it was too difficult, but now with the new bleachers, it’s so much faster, and I can do it all by myself.”
Intramural events like floor hockey, futsal, and basketball happening most nights in the gym, and the bleachers are used more by rec and wellness than athletics. “We’re very excited about the much needed upgrade for our students,” said High