Middlesboro gym gets updates

Published 2:24 pm Monday, February 13, 2023

BY JORDAN BROOKS

jordan.brooks@middlesboronews.com

The Middlesboro high school gym has recently undergone renovations, and just in time for the upcoming 53rd district tournament.

“We did the gym in two phases, we started the home side during Covid and things were delayed, like everything else,” said assistant principal Jesse Allen with Middlesboro High School. “So we tore out the top bleachers, and replaced the old wood ones that were installed back in 1967.”

On the home side the chair backs were installed in 1993, according to Allen this will be Middlesboro’s second season with the new hometeam chair backs on the bleachers.

Chair back seating was installed on the visitors side last October.

“It was a two-year project, and we couldn’t afford to do it all in one year. We had to wait on the second one,” Allen said. “And all together, Middlesboro spent $350,000 for both years combined on the improvements.

“When we first ordered the bleachers, it was something in the plastic [that was delayed], it was months and months before we got the first one, at least six months to get the top [bleachers] shipped. The bottom, or the home side were only about four to six weeks behind.”

Of all the gym renovations, so far a favorite among coaches, athletes and vice principal Allen are the new scoreboards that also include a video board. Sponsorships have helped defray the $35,000 price tag, and the team is working on producing hype videos to show during games.

“The kids like it,” said Allen. “And the kids are taking better care of it since it’s newer.”

This year, all their bleachers came in as planned, despite some supply chain issues.

In the past two weeks, Middlesboro high school just received 46 new doors, some of which go in the gym and hallways.

“When they came in, they came in the wrong color,” said Allen.

Since the company Middlesboro is working with said they would take longer than expected getting the correct ones to them. The school is decorating them in the meantime for the upcoming district tournament in the school’s colors.