New school year, new gym


Photo provided by Antonio Davis

Emelie Patti , Editor-in-Chief

As many of the members of the RJ Reynolds community know, the school has been shut down due to COVID-19. However before the pandemic, RJR was filled with many students hurrying from one class to another. One particular commute was to the gymnasium for gym and health classes, which is down past the tunnel across from Hanes Park track and tennis courts. 

Many students would complain about the lack of air conditioning and heavy mugginess that would fill the gym up, especially while students were doing activities. This will no longer be a problem for students at RJR. As of this summer, RJR has a new gymnasium floor as well as a new air conditioning unit. After getting the approval from Dr. Leslie Alexander and the bosses at the central office, Athletic Director Brad Fisher was given permission to plan a new design for the floors and the result was astonishing. 

The air conditioning unit took from the middle of May until the first or second week of July,” Fisher said. “And then the floor took three to four weeks. It was very busy having lots of contractors come in and out of the gym every single day.”

The gym layout was influenced by a connection made from Mr. Fisher.

A friend of mine is a college basketball coach and he was at a small college game and came across a similar floor and sent me pictures,” Mr. Fisher said. “I thought that would be a great idea and something to change up the gym.”

Even though the gym floor is sanded and repainted every ten years, this is a really big benefit for the demons. This should give demon athletes a new mentality when walking onto the courts as well as improving their performance. Junior Henry Hubbard has been on the Reynolds varsity basketball team for two years and loves the new courts. 

“I like the difference specifically on the floor, the hardwood has a new finish on it to make it easier to run,” Hubbard said. “[In the past] one of the major problems was constant slipping from the dust accumulated on the floor. The new courts will help with our agility since it is not as slippery.” 

Senior Ashleigh Williams has been on the varsity basketball team for all four years and also loves the new courts.

“The gym gives me more of an updated feel and the old gym was kinda boring; it adds more flavor,” Williams said. “I feel like I might play better because it looks better.”

Many sports teams like volleyball and basketball are working out at least two times a week in the gym, with strict COVID-19 precautions, of course. However for the rest of the public, the gyms are off-limits. But for now, we will have to be patient and hope to express our rowdiness in the new demon gym soon.