A new day: Pike Liberal Arts improving gym, adding new wooden floor and air conditioning

Published 6:43 pm Monday, October 28, 2019

Affectionately known as the Patriot Oven, the Pike Liberal Arts Gymnasium is getting a needed upgrade.

Pike Liberal Arts is putting down a new hardwood floor inside the gym as well as adding air conditioning and new bleachers.

“It’s coming along pretty good,” Athletic Director Gene Allen said. “They have the majority of the subfloor now. I hope they are ahead of schedule, but it seems like they are doing a good job. When they start putting the main floor down that’s when you start getting excited. It’s going to be nice.”

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Discussions about upgrading the gymnasium began in the summer when the school made upgrades to the Patriot baseball field and when they repaved the school parking lot.

“A lot of boosters got together this summer wanting to do some renovations,” Allen said. “It started wih the baseball backstop. It got to where we wanted to upgrade the gym. It’s something that needed to be done a long time ago. It’s going to be a really good thing for the school.”

The Patriot basketball team was scheduled to play their home opener on November 19 against Success Unlimited. Instead, in order to give themselves more time, the Patriots will now travel to play at Success Unlimited. The hope is they will have it ready for play prior to their home game on December 10.

“We went ahead and flopped that game (Success Unlimited),” Allen said. “Our first games are on the road. It will give us more time to get it down and practice on it a few times hopefully.”

Without air conditioning in previous years, heat was not the only obstacle for the Patriots. During basketball season, condensation on the floor caused games to be delayed or even postponed.

“It’s a big upgrade,” Allen said. “It used to get so slick to where you couldn’t even play on it. With the addition of the air-conditioning and the wooden floor, it’s something for the kids to be really proud of.”

The Patriots called their gym the Patriot Oven because of the advantage it gave them over their opponents. Even though the upgrades will take a way that added advantage, Allen believes the new amenities will be more than worth it.

“I’m sure it will take a little of that away, but you have to give up something,” Allen said. “It will sure be nice in there. “