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New wooden courts at Jesse Owens South elicit mixed feedback

Kieffer Gray, fourth-year in electrical engineering, plays basketball at JO South Aug. 27 on the new wooden courts, intended to be used for a variety of activities. Credit: Chelsea Spears / Asst. multimedia editor

Kieffer Gray, fourth-year in electrical engineering, plays basketball at JO South Aug. 27 on the new wooden courts, intended to be used for a variety of activities. Credit: Chelsea Spears / Asst. multimedia editor

The renovation of the basketball courts at Jesse Owens South have some Ohio State students talking.

“It’s really great,” said Alyse Demme, a fourth-year in marketing. “Since I’ve been here, the floor has been kind of yucky and it is nice to feel like other people can participate here other than the basketball players because having volleyball courts is inclusive for all the students.”

Other students, such as Kennedy Shasteen, a first-year in health information management systems, said the change might be frustrating for basketball players, but will be useful for other groups of students.

Dave DeAngelo, senior associate director of facilities, said the $230,000 renovations took place not only to upgrade the courts, but to increase the versatility of the space.

“We will be able to play badminton, volleyball and plan on having group fitness classes that we already started last week,” DeAngelo said. “I really want to try to change the culture, saying it’s not just basketball. We really want to look at our facilities in a more global way.”

Although some are happy with new wooden courts, others are not so happy with the changes.

“It’s definitely nice to have wood instead of the concrete floor that was there before because it was bad on knees and stuff and people would fall, so its nice to have a different material floor,” said Elaine Tillotson, a third-year in exercise science. “I think they are trying to use it for too many different things now, though, and people specifically come in the evenings to play basketball.”

Josh Mosier, a second-year in exercise science, also said he did not like the expansion.

“With the RPAC and all the other different gyms, there (are) a lot of different places for fitness classes and stuff like that rather than to put them on the new basketball courts we finally got,” Mosier said. “And when the weather is nice enough for volleyball there are tons of volleyball courts even by the dorms for (others) to do outside stuff on.”

Not only are some unhappy with the basketball courts schedule, but they’re unhappy with some of the layout.

“The floor is lifted up a couple inches off the ground because the wood was put on top of the floor that was there before, and I have already seen two people roll their ankles off the edge because around the floor near the bathrooms and near the doors and exits there is a dropoff, so I think the way it was put in it was a little dangerous for people that are playing because you are not noticing that edge,” Tillotson said.

Tillotson also thought the renovation was rushed because one of the three-point lines does not line up with the ring on the top of the key. She also said she has seen some of the paint chipping in some sections.

The new wooden courts were placed in the gym facilities this past summer to replace the old asphalt courts put in place in 1976 when the gym was built.

The renovation took about three weeks.

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