There was a time that Everett High School didn’t have a home gym to play in, and so they played all their home basketball contests at the Gentile Rec Center on Elm Street, and some of the facilities in that Center haven’t seen any improvements since that time long ago.
But now, the versatile City Facilities Maintenance Department is one site and looking to make some major improvements in the Rec Center so that residents can get much more use out of it once again.
Director George Lane said it follows with Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s direction to his crew to make repairs to City buildings in-house, saving the City money and getting more buildings in top shape.
Already, the Department had poured 66 yards of new concrete on the old gym floor last year and replaced the court with a waterproof surface – one of the first projects they did to combat the water issues that often plague the Center.
Now, Lane said, they are building new bathrooms, creating storage space, making a new computer room and giving the lobby a facelift.
“That’s the goal, to be able to offer the residents more use of this facility,” he said. “We’ve gutted the bathrooms this week and done a lot of jackhammering. We replacing both bathrooms, putting in a new shower, a new handicap bathroom, new tile, and we’ll put a computer room in the back. It was pretty run-down in here. It definitely needed some work.”
The crew has been on the project about one week and will conclude in about another two weeks, Lane said.
The City hopes to be able to get things ready to use the Center more this summer. With the new waterproof floor, and the new facilities coming online, the Center will be able to host more City functions.
The Center goes back to before the old Everett High had its addition in 1978, when they created a gym there. Prior to that, the old high school teams played at the Rec Center. So, historically, it’s gotten its share of use, and now with some needed facelifts, the hope is to put it back online for the community.
Lane said his workers really love projects like the Center, and they look forward to starting on the Concession Stand at Sacramone Park next month. In between, he said, they have to find time to maintain City facilities, such as repairing the Fire Station doors and other such items.
“We’ll get it all done; these guys love it and they work fast,” he said.