Beardsley Gym underwent a full renovation this summer after receiving funds from Northwestern for hosting women’s basketball and volleyball this fall and winter.
“A lot of the renovations were long overdue,” Athletic Director Chris Livatino said. “The opportunity to do so hadn’t come until Northwestern approached us about using Beardsley.”
While the gym went through a series of renovations, the most significant was the upgrade from a static scoreboard, which just displayed numbers, to a LED video scoreboard.
“The scoreboard will allow us to do a lot of cool things with graphics, video replays, advertising, you name it,” Livatino explained. “It’s what all the students will be talking about.”
In addition to the new scoreboard, the balcony walls of the gym have been repainted and will now give Beardsley more school spirit with orange and blue. Because of the need for an NCAA-length basketball court for Northwestern games, the floor has been refinished and new baskets have been installed. Finally, the mats on the walls and the tile floor in the lobby have been replaced.
“It will be really fun to use the jumbotron in our games,” junior volleyball player Rosemary Gibbons said. “A lot of high schools don’t have the opportunity to get something like that.”
Construction for Beardsley started in mid-June and has been going on since. Work was expected to be done before the school year begins, but students may still see some remnants of the construction as they pass through the gym wing.
“It was really cool to practice in Beardsley for the first time after renovation,” senior volleyball player Patty Duffy said. “It got us all very excited for the school year and our first game.”
This fall and winter, the new renovations will be put to good use. Livatino explained that although the gym will get busy hosting 10 Northwestern women’s volleyball matches and 18 women’s basketball contests, the games have all been scheduled not to interfere with ETHS athletics and sports.
“Our students come first,” Livatino said. “We tried to be very smart about the timing to make sure there is as little negative impact on our programs as possible.”
Although some athletes may be bitter about having to share Beardsley, Livatino believes hosting Northwestern games gives students better access to watch the games and see what collegiate level athletics look like.
“I think it’s great that we get to partner with a Big Ten school, and we are looking forward to the relationship between Evanston and Northwestern,” Livatino said.