A Bellamy Center revamp — highlighted by a new floor — has already made the gym a brighter venue, and now sets the facility up for decades to come.
“The new floor at the Bellamy Center will make it a much better environment for those that use the gym,” City manager Shawn Purvis stated this week. “The floor material and rubber padding underneath give more support to the daily walkers in the gym and will be a much improved playing surface for our basketball and volleyball programs.”
The new floor is expected to extend the life of the gym, reduce maintenance costs and create a better facility for city programs, which include basketball and volleyball, as well as seniors activities such as walking and shuffleboard. The previous floor was 23 years old and showed its age through cracks, bubbles and shifts.
The floor was not the best material, especially if you fell on it, city staff said. A hole had also developed in the floor near one of the basketball goals, creating a trip hazard that had to be marked off and covered until the new floor in place.
“The age of the floor and need to make repairs were the driving factors in its replacement,” Purvis said. “No one makes the panels anymore to replace the current floor.”
That floor was also directly on concrete, making it tough to clean.
“When we first got this, it was the best stuff you could get,” recalled Bellamy Center director Brenda Potter, an employee under Walker Bellamy himself at the time. But now, she noted, “it’s not adequate for the facility.”
In hopes of revamping the facility and answering safety concerns, the City Council included the new Bellamy floor in the 2015-16 budget at a cost of $43,000. The center closed from Sept. 10-18 so work could be completed, opening back up Monday.
While there are still some items being moved around — an adjacent supplies area was also being overhauled — a drab and deteriorated gym has already transformed into a brighter, more comfortable area. That will be a huge benefit to those who use the facility, and still others who might now do the same.
“It will help seniors when they’re walking and when young people are running on it,” Potter noted. “It will be a big benefit for us. It will bring more people playing in here. We have volleyball and basketball in here on a regular basis and our walkers are in here every day.”
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.