Worcester, Mass. – One the nation’s most unique basketball arenas got an impressive facelift over the summer. Clark University’s Kneller Athletic Center – home of the basketball and volleyball programs – now has a more modern, updated look after a six-week project that saw the facility get a new bleacher system and an updated floor with an eye-catching design.
“We hope the new floor and bleacher system not only brings new energy and pride to the Kneller, but reflects the University’s strong commitment to our student-athletes, Cougar fans and the Clark community as a whole,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation, Sean Sullivan.
Already a memorable place because of its unique architecture, the Hurst Courts now boast a floor design created by Paul Saikia of York, Pa., that features the Cougar logo at center court, a black baseline with the word “Cougars” in red and outlined in white at either end. Inside the three-point arc is painted red with the exception of the lane, which is a shade of tan.
The traditional New England Women’s And Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) logo is located just outside the three-point on both halves of the court but on opposite sides.
Gymnasium Floor Refinishers of Randolph, Mass. removed the entire surface on Court A, replaced it with new flooring, then sanded and refinished the entire gymnasium floor and put down Saikia’s design on the main court.
Working with the Robert H. Lord Company of Manchester, Conn., bright red bleachers with plastic, seat-specific locations that can fit 1,500 spectators are now located on opposite sides of the revamped main court. Another set of bleachers that are mobile can be placed at the baseline with seating for more than 150 additional fans.
The bleachers, manufactured by Hussey Seating of North Berwick, Maine, are attached to the wall and feature center aisle hand rails along with additional aisle steps and self-storing end rails. A key component of the system is that they can be controlled by a wireless pendant allowing for a quick and easy opening and closing.
This project closely followed the renovation of the building’s lobby last winter. During that makeover the lobby received a new color scheme, new flooring, fresh paint and two high-definition televisions now adorn adjacent walls.
Clark, which has already played seven volleyball matches on the new surface, will see women’s basketball host Springfield College on Wednesday, November 28 and the men’s team welcome Worcester State on Thursday, November 29 as the first home games for those two programs in the updated arena.