The sawdust has settled, and the sounds of hammers and nails are about to be a thing of the past. Like many others schools in Crawford County, Titusville High School’s gymnasium got a much-needed makeover during the summer months. Work that began in the end of May is nearing its completion a few months later.

While the project is still not 100% complete, members of the Rockets girls volleyball team will have the luxury of being the first players to see game action at the new and improved Launch Pad.

The Launch Pad now has a new gym floor that features the Rockets logo of the yellow “T” outlined in brown with a white rocket lifting off in the background at center court. Above the logo reads “Titusville High School,” while “Welcome to the Launch Pad” is below — all in a slightly-slanted block font in brown color. According to Titusville Athletic Director Scott Salvo, the new design at halfcourt was developed by himself, Art Teacher/Photographer Uriah Sampson and PE Teacher/Boys Basketball Coach Craig Mehlenbacher.

A solid gold line with brown stripes above and below is featured around the entire gym about halfway between the floor and the ceiling. The previously yellow air handlers on the ceiling are now white.

The lines of the basketball court were shifted at least 3 feet away from both the walls that are on the side of the gym where the team benches and locker rooms are located behind the baseline and the Walnut Street entrance to the facility.

Player safety was a key factor in deciding on whether to proceed with the gym renovations, according to Salvo. On Wednesday, Salvo recalled stories of basketball players crashing into benches, media tables and bleachers due to the placement of the sidelines. That now will not be as prevalent an issue with more room for the benches and out of bounds area near both baselines and sidelines.

Because the basketball court was moved, the holes for the poles of the volleyball netting had to be moved as well. In making use of some of the empty space where the student section of bleachers will be when fully retracted, a quartet of four square courts were added to provide more opportunities in PE classes. 

In addition to the playing surface, new bleachers are set to be installed as soon as they are received by the school. Salvo said the bleachers are currently on back order and should be in by the end of October. New thresholds were added in each doorway, from the locker rooms to the entry/exit doors and nearby hallways and rooms in between.

Another addition regarding PE is a dividing see-through curtain. It will permit multiple activities to be held simultaneously while students can still be monitored by fewer faculty members. The gym has the potential to now have three separate sections with two functional curtains.

Salvo stated that it had been “more than 20 years ago” that the gymnasium had this much completed in the way of improvements. By the looks of things, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the next time renovations are brought up would be another 25 years.

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