Randy Speer,The Circuit,
Benedictine College has invested in restoring the Haverty gymnasium to its former glory.
The court’s floor was refinished and modern basketball hoops are to be installed later, a project that head men’s basketball coach Ryan Moody estimated cost $40,000 to $45,000. The money came from a mix of donations, athletic department budget and school budget.
Refinishing the wood involves sanding the wood down to a point where wax had not reached, then sealing the fresh with new wax. This process is normally done about every 10 years, but Moody estimated it had been closer to 40 or 50 years for the Haverty floor.
The gym, which housed the the basketball and volleyball teams up until 1996 and part of 1997, was in need of much needed repair.
“The reality is, it was in disrepair. We had rotted wood, sections of the floor that were unstable,” Moody said.
During Moody’s first year here, the men’s basketball team attempted to practice in the gym just once before sticking with the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium.
“We practiced and Jallen Messersmith was a freshman and he went up and dunked and a four-foot piece of iron came off the brackets that holds the bucket up and stuck in the floor,” he said. “And I was like we are never coming back in here, it didn’t seem safe.”
Since coming back to Atchison five years ago, it had been a hope of Moody’s along with the efforts of athletic director Charlie Gartenmeyer, women’s basketball coach Chad Folsom and volleyball head coach Erin Cooper to bring the gym up to speed.
With intramurals and the baseball and softball teams being moved to the newly finished recreation center, it was an ideal time to commit to the project.
“In my mind’s eye, it’s always been when the Rec got done we need to do something to the Haverty,” Moody said. “I just thought we need to do right by this building. With the addition of the Rec, it took some pressure off from that building. It was just good timing.”
The gym holds a special place in Moody’s heart as his senior year was the last full season played in the Haverty, a place where the legendary Ralph Nolan paced the sideline, where two national title teams practiced and played and where a handful of All-America selections got their start.
The restoration, done by Luebbert Flooring, accomplished two goals for Moody, honor the teams and players that came before and give added functionality.
The new floor is an exact duplication of the former court, down to the Benedictine “B” at the entrance of the gym and “Benedictine” written into the end line.
For now, the gym will be used as a practice facility for the volleyball team and both basketball teams.
There are no current plans to use the Haverty gym for anything other than a practice facility, but an exhibition game of some kind could happen down the road.
“If we could pull it off, I’d be all for it,” Moody said. “We’d love to look into it. It’d be worth it to investigate and see.”