With January just around the corner, the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion is still unfinished despite previous claims by administration that work could be completed by as early as Oct. 15. This has caused many problems with the athletics department including the relocation of athletic programs to other facilities.
The absence of bleachers and sufficient lighting are the reasons that the teams have been unable to host practices and home games.
“The construction delays are to be blamed on the scaffolding used for the insulation work,” Director of Facilities Management Brian Worley said. “We are trying to at least have the facility ready for the teams to practice in by late January.”
According to Worley, there has been speculation as to whether or not the insulation work could be completed without scaffolding. After realizing that scaffolding would need to be placed in order for the construction to continue the bleachers and other parts of the gym had to be removed.
“This is certainly frustrating,” Worley said. “But athletics has been realistic with these problems.”
This recent delay is causing both the men’s and women’s basketball teams to play home games on alternate courts. The women’s team will play two late December contests at Life Pacific College and will play most conference home games at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. On off days, both teams must commute to other locations nearby for practice time.
“As a result the men and women’s basketball teams are practicing at La Verne Lutheran High School,” Athletic Director Chris Ragsdale said. “We need to focus on what we can control and see this as just another challenge in life. However, we do look forward to that day when we can move in to our new home.”
Both Ragsdale and the coaches see this as a minor setback to the athletic program that is worth the wait.
“The tents not being ready affects our ability to practice and play at home,” men’s head basketball coach Gabe Duran said. “While it's not an ideal situation, it is a sacrifice we all have to make in order to move forward.”
Duran also expressed the bigger picture by stating that although the renovation is a hassle, the opportunity to play and coach college basketball far outweighs that.
Although the tents will benefit the future athletes of La Verne, seniors on this year’s squads will not be able to enjoy much of a home court advantage in their final year.
“We are looking toward the future and that helps not just the university but the athletic programs as well,” senior guard Adrian Ferrera said. “All I want is a senior night for my final home game in the Tents and I pray that happens.”
Ferrera also sees this setback as a chance to come together as a team.
“We have to treat every game like it’s a road game and for a successful season we need to depend on each other more than ever this year,” Ferrera said.
The women's volleyball team did not have an official home court the entire season and had to practice and play at places such as Pitzer
College and La Verne Lutheran High School. Head coach Don Flora's team even called Whittier College home at one point in the season.
Despite the inconvenience, the team was able to overcome this adversity and win its fifth straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and the West Regional title in Spokane, Wash.
Mike Senyo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Adrian Medrano can be reached at email@example.com.