The 2017 summer renovations to Manhattan College were headlined by a complete re-vamp of Draddy Gymnasium.
The main court in Draddy made headlines just two years ago when the athletic department decided to resurface it with a coating of green paint. The unique court shading, while it was not popular with everyone, soon became synonymous with Manhattan’s basketball program.
But as the new semester starts, the athletic department ushers in a new set of renovations that head athletic director Marianne Reilly says are designed to benefit both the students and the spectators.
“A lot of planning goes into this, it doesn’t happen overnight,” Reilly said.
The makeover of Draddy has been several years in the making.
During the 2014-15 school year, the full-time student fitness center was successfully moved from Draddy to the then-brand new Kelly Commons building. That move then allowed for the athletic department to take former gym space and transform it into office space, while also taking the preliminary steps to designing a new training facility for Manhattan’s student-athletes.
The next year was when Manhattan introduced the green finish on the main competitive court, home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Finalizing steps were also taken in the process of completing the student athlete fitness center and re-arranging office space for the entire department.
In the newest installment of this renovation saga, Reilly and the athletic department are excited to display the new hardwood and seating accommodations that Draddy offers.
“Everyone really stepped up and really helped us out,” Reilly said.
The changes are highlighted by a completely new court that was put in place for the Men’s and Women’s basketball team. While this means the end of the green court era, Reilly is excited to introduce a simple stained court that exudes a classic feel and look.
In addition to the new hardwood on the main court, courts one and three were also resurfaced. Court One is used for Manhattan’s Division I volleyball team, as well as recreation activities, but for a long time had not catered enough to the Jaspers who competed on the court. These court renovations saw to a complete resurfacing of the court that benefits the volleyball team while keeping it a functional recreation area.
“[Court One] actually looks like a volleyball court now,” Reilly said.
The third court is primarily used for recreational sports, but was also resurfaced to help eliminate some of the wear and tear that had built up over time.
Next on Reilly’s check list when piecing together the home of Manhattan Athletics was ensuring that everyone who came to enjoy a game was comfortable.
This included both students and fans, which is why there was careful detail when connecting the new seating arragements.
New telescope type bleachers are being installed in the next week, as design that keeps the bleachers very tight to the wall when pulled up.
Reilly is also bringing in new chair backs, which will be an upgrade from what the school currently offers, while also offering a new bowl look to the stands.
“This will give a better angle, no matter what seat you’re in,” Reilly said.
These moves were made to optimize egress from Draddy, which had been a problem for Reilly and the athletic department in the past. In addition to the new seating, all swing down basketball hoops have been added in the gym, so that people can come and go with ease.
Most important in Reilly’s mind is the renaissance that this process has been for the college’s athletics. Entering just her second full year as head athletic director, Reilly sees this as a project she is exciting and motivating for herself and the people it benefits.
“I’m so greatful, and I know the student athletes are so greatful… they’re so excited,” Reilly said.