Winterboro High School principal Craig Bates said the renovations started last April. The gym was usable to the students during those times, he said.
“It was very, very old,” he said. “It had a lot of things that were very outdated. The bleachers in particular were put in 1967.”
The renovations included new floors. The gym previously had a plastic floor with interlocking blocks, which was put down in the 90s, Bates said. He also said that floor was not good for playing basketball.
“It looked pretty bad,” he said. “There was hardwood under that but it was the original and it wasn’t really good enough to keep, so we had to put a whole new hardwood floor down. We got new bleachers. The old ones we had welded them out because they wouldn’t move back and forth any longer and they weren’t safe. So we had to weld them in the out position.”
Phillip Jenkins, a high school math teacher at Winterboro said it’s nice that the students have a gym that they can actually play in.
“I think it’s great that after 30 something years we’re actually able to have a gym that represents the quality of students we have,” he said. “They deserve this, so it’s nice.”
Bates said the interior of the gym was repainted, along with the ceiling. The lobby has new tile and a sound system was installed with a speaker in the center of the ceiling. An air conditioning unit was installed, which the gym did not have before.
Not having an air conditioning unit was rough during basketball games and especially volleyball games, Bates said. The thing we’re most thrilled about is air conditioning, he said.
“This time of the year for the physical education students it was bad,” he said. “Schools used to not be air conditioned. But if you’re accustomed to that kind of creature comfort it’s hard to go from having it to not, so it was pretty rough.”
A heating unit was installed as well. The gym had heat before but it was a gas heater. The parking lot was also redone.
The gym was used for the first time at the pep rally a couple weeks ago when Winterboro played B.B. Comer.
Bates said the gym really does look dramatically different and the students think it is wonderful. The total cost for the renovations was $350,000.