SARANAC LAKE — The North Country Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams will be playing on a newly resurfaced and rebranded court when they return to the hardwood this fall for the first time in more than a year.
The college recently completed a major renovation to the floor of the Sparks Athletic Complex gymnasium – the biggest upgrade to the court since it was rebuilt in 2005.
“We’re excited to have our student-athletes come back and compete on the new floor,” said Saints Athletic Director Chad LaDue. “Not just our student-athletes, but I think our whole student body will be excited to see how it has all turned out.”
The project was driven by a combination of factors, LaDue explained, including a need to resurface the 16-year-old court, NJCAA changes to the three-point-line distance, and the ability to complete the work when no sports were taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rebranding the court with the college’s new logo and a different color scheme and design were also opportunities created by the project, he said.
The college hired Forth Sport Floors of East Greenbush for the roughly $30,000 renovation, which started in mid-May. The entire gym floor was sanded down, then taped and painted section by section. The new-look court then received multiple coats of finish that were buffed out over several days. The project wrapped up during the second week of June.
“I’m grateful to (college President) Joe Keegan, who said this is one of our key assets on campus and we want to preserve it,” LaDue said. “It was important to maintain the quality floor that we had, and it was exciting to rebrand and redo the look of the gym. Now we’ll be good for another 15 years.”
Jerrad Dumont, head women’s basketball coach, said his players are excited to use the new court to defend their 2020 NJCAA Region III title this season.
“The players we’ve had the last few years, they feel like their success has contributed to the college wanting to make these kinds of investments in our facilities,” Dumont said.
“It’s exciting to be able to market this to our student athletes when recruiting them so we can say ‘This is the facility you get to play in,’” LaDue added. “We can proudly put it up against all the other schools we play against.”
LaDue said he also received a lot of positive feedback from Saints alumni after pictures of the new gym floor were shared on social media.
The college’s athletic program will resume next month after a 15-month hiatus due to COVID. Members of the men’s and women’s soccer teams will be on the field this fall, men’s and women’s basketball will take the court in late fall, and women’s lacrosse takes place in the spring.