C-SDHS gym is getting major improvements

Special to Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Cambridge-South Dorchester School Engineer Chris Hauge, left, and his son Eric checked progress on the new gym floor on Friday. The $225,000 job is part of a larger project funded by the state and a match from IRONMAN Triathlon.

Special to Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Cambridge-South Dorchester School Engineer Chris Hauge, left, and his son Eric checked progress on the new gym floor on Friday. The $225,000 job is part of a larger project funded by the state and a match from IRONMAN Triathlon.


CAMBRIDGE – The Vikings’ athletic facilities are known as being among the best on the Eastern Shore. With significant upgrades now taking place, that reputation seems ready to advance.

A new floor designed for sports is being installed in the gym, replacing one that was intended for all-purpose public use. While the concept of bringing in events might have made good sense, the sturdiness required resulted in an especially hard floor that was tough on athletes’ joints.

“As a floor, it was a compromise,” School Engineer Chris Hauge said on Friday, adding it was “far from being ideal.”

Now, though, Cambridge-South Dorchester’s basketball players and other athletes can look forward to playing and practicing on a much more resilient surface. The work is expected to be finished in about two weeks.

The floor will cost about $225,000, and is part of a $625,000 project comprising a new softball field behind the stadium and a renovated pressbox.

“It’s a lot of money,” Mr. Hauge said.

But what’s maybe the best part of all?

“Nobody is paying additional taxes,” Mr. Hauge said. “Nobody had to go to the County Council to ask for a dime.”

Most of the work is being funded by a federal grant program that requires a 10 percent local match. Here’s where the creativity comes in.

Dorchester residents, including many C-SD students and athletes, have given hundreds of hours of labor to the IRONMAN triathlon events held in the county over the years.

Recognizing that volunteer hours have a monetary value, and noting the substantial donations IRONMAN has made to teams and local organizations in return, local officials were able to use this continuous community partnership with IRONMAN as the local match.

A look around the gym revealed other recent improvements. A drop-down divider, two batting cages, and basketball goals – the entire structure of supports, backboards and rims – are all new.

The work on the floor will raise the level by a couple of inches, so the basketball goals will be adjusted accordingly. They will also, along with floor markings, be extended to reach NCAA length.
“That will be attractive to athletic folks,” Mr. Hauge said.

It didn’t happen overnight, as Mr. Hauge, County Athletic Director Sam Slacum and others worked behind the scenes to prepare. “We’ve spent two years planning this work,” Mr. Hauge said.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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