Photograph by Mike Kehoe
By Nick Bruinooge
The gym at Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) offers regular hours and availability during the week for students to play, but often appears to be underutilized. There are no intramural sports or organized tournaments this semester, despite having a large population of potentially willing participants. Inside the gym there is a full-sized basketball court with enough bleacher space for a small audience. A closer examination of the physical properties of the floor surface on the court have raised a few red flags with students that regularly use the facility. The court looks and feels a bit unconventional and outdated.
Anthony Defonzo has been a student at 4Cs for years and plays basketball at the gym quite frequently in between and after classes. He says that playing basketball is “a great way to stay active in the winter months and a great way to meet new people on campus”.
Even he questions whether or not the conditions of the court are suitable for highly competitive settings. In November 2017, Defonzo suspects that he tore the meniscus tendon in his knee by slipping on the surface of the court during a pickup game.
“I tried to make a move towards the basket going full speed,” Defonzo said. “My foot went one way and my knee went another.”
Defonzo says that there is a consensus opinion among the students who regularly use the facility to play basketball that the floor is “not the safest place to play and not on par with other indoor courts on Cape Cod.”
Defonzo still plays basketball at the facility but not as often as he had before his injury. He also stated that despite the conditions there is still a lot of potential for an intramural league or tournament.
“The amount of people varies depending on what time of day and what part of the semester you go at, but there are usually enough people there to get a game going,” said 4Cs student Sebastian Restaino. “During the end of a semester there are probably a lot more people in the library than the gym, but if you have the time to spare it’s a great way to stay active and blow off steam.”
Both Restaino and Defonzo say that they have witnessed multiple students slip on the court.
According to Director of Facilities Joe MacKinnon, “The last time the gymnasium floor was resurfaced was over 20 years ago.”
A simple internet search shows multiple sources online stating that the average time period that these floors should be resurfaced is about every five-ten years. MacKinnon said that that this time frame is “likely related to usage” and that neither he nor his staff has ever received a formal complaint about the surface of the floor.
“As the college does not have athletic programs, the usage is way lower than your typical college or high school floor,” said MacKinnon. “The gym floor is on our list of items we would like to invest in, but we need to give priority to building code issues such as accessibility and we have a limited budget.”