Published: March 8, 2006
The Lou Ross Center, home to PJC’s basketball teams, coaches’ offices, and pool, has become a ghost town while it undergoing renovations.
The center was built in the 1960s. This is the second renovation the center has undergone in the last 10 years. The last renovation included installing a roof over hallways and other outdoor parts of the building and adding an air conditioning system to the gym.
“This renovation, however, is going to be more extensive,” Doug Rogers, intramurals coordinator and facilities manager, said.
The original plan for the center was to upgrade the air conditioning and replace some of the electrical systems. With additional funds available, PJC decided to expand the renovations.
The hardwood floor of the basketball court is being torn out and replaced. The bleachers of the gym are being left alone. The floor is one of the highest priorities in these renovations.
“It’s an inconvenience right now, but we are glad to have a new floor,” women’s basketball coach Chanda Rigby said. “We have to find places for recruits. We have used the Milton Campus to schedule basketball camps as well.”
The locker rooms are being reduced to allow for more space for a training facility. The faculty lounge is being reduced in size as well.
A big improvement comes for the pool, according to Rogers. Locker rooms will be built in the pool area so patrons don’t have to walk through the freezing halls to get back to the pool. An outside entrance to the pool is also planned. The goal of this part of the renovations is for the pool to be its own entity while still being part of the building.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Jennifer Hastings, who uses the pool frequently, said. “It doesn’t bother me too much to walk through the halls but I know it bothers some of the other swimmers.”
The coaches’ offices are also being refurbished and reorganized. When the renovations are complete, all the men’s and women’s basketball coaches’ offices will be in close vicinity to each other. The same goes for baseball, softball, and volleyball. Meanwhile, the coaches have moved out of the center to different locations across the Pensacola and Milton Campuses.
The athletic director, secretary and the basketball coaches are located in Building 21. Intramurals offices have been moved to Building 19. Baseball has been moved to the clubhouse at the baseball field. Softball and volleyball have been moved to the Milton Campus.
Rogers is looking forward to seeing the new center.
“I am looking forward to the new A/C system. Before, we had little to no temperature control,” he said. “The roof is being redone so the center won’t leak. Of course, new offices for all the coaches are nice too.”
The renovations are expected to start March 20. The center is expected to be completed sometime in August or September.