Gaither Gym closed until April

Students at the Anti-Hazing Seminar walking up to student organizations getting to know them and waiting for the seminar to begin.
Photo Submitted by Christopher Miller.

Jake Gaither Gymnasium closed its doors on Saturday after the annual United We Dance showcase.

The gym, scheduled to reopen in April, is a place where many of the organizations on campus such as The Infamous Boyz of Poison, The Strikers and Mahogany, and The Melodic Stepping Experience have put on major events to showcase their talents to the university and community. The gym is where organizations practice for upcoming performances.

It’s also where many convocations are held, as well as major sporting events and competitions. It came as a shock to most student organizations when they learned that Gaither was closing and that they wouldn’t be able to use it for any of their shows as well as hold their practices in the gymnasium.

“I was upset because OSA told us it would be open, and we could use it,” said Jazmine Logan a graduate student and president of The Explosive C4 Bomb Squad Chapter of House Arrest 2.

“We later found out from the man in charge of Gaither that it would be closed the entire month of March. So, one, there’s obviously little to communication between the two. But it’s also a huge inconvenience because we have to find a way to pay for everything whereas Gaither would have been free,” she said.

Kevin Rosier, an associate athletic director, said the gym is closed while a new floor is installed and other renovations take place.

Gaither Gym holds events that can draw over-capacity crowds and become a fire hazard. Gaither is also in the process of being remodeled  because it is an old building; some doors are boarded up and there are other issues, Rosier said.

After the remodeling, athletics officials hope Gaither will be safer.

Stephanie Colter, with the Office of Student Activities, assists with facility request forms that student organizations must complete in order to use Gaither. “The gym is being remodeled and will reopen back up in April of 2019,” she said.