posted October 16, 2017
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has replaced the Sports Center’s playing surface for the 2017-18 season.
The project entailed the installation of a wooden floor over the existing composite floor. Work began September 25 and concluded October 16. A preview of the work was offered during Homecoming Weekend on September 29.
The Sports Center is the home court for Mountain Cats men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and wrestling.
“The Pitt-Johnstown Athletic Department, and especially our coaches and athletes, are extremely excited about the installation of the new wooden Sports Center floor,” said Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Director and Wrestling Coach Pat Pecora. “Facilities are some of the most tangible comparisons a prospective student-athlete can make when choosing a school. Not only will this benefit our current student-athletes, but it will also have a large impact on future student-athletes.
“A lot of hard work and effort went into making this project happen. I would like to thank (Pitt-Johnstown President) Dr. Spectar, (Vice President for Finance and Administration) Amy Buxbaum, and Rich Ragan for all of their work in making this long-time dream become a reality.”
The replacement of the Sports Center floor was made possible through the support of several generous individuals and corporations. Mr. Ragan – a Pitt-Johnstown Alumnus, former Men’s Basketball team member, and Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee – served as the organizer of fund solicitation for the project.
“We couldn't be more excited about getting a new wooden floor. It definitely will make a difference in recruiting student-athletes to Pitt Johnstown,” said Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Rukavina. “Besides a handful of schools who have arenas, I feel this floor will make the Sports Center one of the nicest venues in the PSAC.”
“We are extremely excited as a program and an athletic department to be upgrading our facility in such a huge way. I already think we have a great setting for college basketball, this is just going to take it to another level,” said Women’s Basketball Coach Mike Drahos.
“In addition, with the number of events that our facility hosts each year, this is going to be a great face to put on our University for the initial impression of so many individuals whose main interaction with UPJ is through athletics.”
“I think it will be a great addition to an already great arena,” said Women’s Basketball senior Olivia McCabe.
Volleyball is the only fall sport affected by the construction. While the resurfacing took place, the volleyball team played scheduled home matches at off-campus venues.
Before view of the Sports Center gym floor.
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is marking its 90th anniversary well as the 50th year of the campus in its Richland Township location. Pitt-Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.