Cutting for something greater

After three years of renovations, the Cerritos College Falcon Gymnasium officially opened its doors to community on Friday, March 8 with a ribbon cutting ceremony that was held inside the gymnasium.

“Magical” was the word that Board of Trustee member Bob Arthur used describe the aura surrounding the gym.

“This gymnasium is here as a class to serve the students for the next 50 or 60 years,” he said.

The ceremony began at 11 a.m. with Cerritos College President Dr. Linda Lacy welcoming the audience in the stands and introducing the Board of Trustees.

City of Cerritos Mayor, Jim Edwards, and former Cerritos College coaches Jack Bogdanivich, Jerry Hernandez, Dean Ackland, Jeanine Prindle, and other retired employees were part of the ceremony.

Women’s basketball coach Karen Welliver and men’s basketball coach Russ May, who had to play their home games for the past three years at Excelsior High School, gave their appreciation to the community and to the Cerritos College body.

Looking forward, Welliver commented on how the team’s mentality will change playing their home games in the gym next season.

“We’ll get a comfort level because we get to practice were going to play and have home games, it makes you feel you have an advantage.”

Built in 1961, the gymnasium needed renovations to meet earthquake proof standards.

The total cost of the renovations was $16.5 million, most of it funded by the state.

A refinished floor, new bleachers, team rooms, two 80-inch flat screen monitors on the entrance of the gym, a trophy case are one of many new features of the gym.

Athletic Director, Dan Clauss, described the ways on how the gym will bring revenue to the school

“People who want to do racquetball tournaments, basketball tournaments, all star games in this gym. This going to generate revenue from rentals and all that goes back to the college to support programs.”

A underground aquifer was one of the biggest delays of the renovation process as Bob Arthur explained.

“We have to drill almost 70 feet into the ground before we hit bedrock for the piers that support the building.”

Another contributor for the delays was, “A fight between out contractors and the district,” Clauss said.

Lacy discussed how the gym will alter the staff who will work in the gym.

“They walk to a new place everyday and have that wonderful feeling that the college supports what they do.”

At the end of the ceremony the Board of Trustee members along with Welliver, May, and Dean of Athletics Dr. Dan Smith all joined Lacy to cut the ribbon to mark a new chapter for Cerritos College community.