Construction on Cobb has started in order to update parts of the fitness center, athletics offices and the Cobb Gallery. Most of the renovations are focused on the Athletics offices as well as the storage area next to the dance room in the fitness center.
The Eckerd architect, Jerry Sparkman, explained the reasons for the recent construction.
“[The reason for the construction is] to enhance the health, safety and welfare of faculty, staff and students who use Cobb Hall on a daily basis, to consolidate the athletic offices in one location, within the center of campus. This is also the first step to prepare for renovations at McArthur Gym,” Sparkman said via email.
The construction plans have been in place for approximately one year and are estimated to be completed in mid-December of this year with the total construction budget being approximately $360,000.
According to Sparkman, emergency lighting and fire alarms will be upgraded, and smoke detection will be added. A new accessible bathroom will also be available near the weight room entrance.
"Renovations will allow coaching staff to better communicate with student athletes,” Sparkman said via email.
With the Athletics offices being the focal point of Cobb construction, Director of Athletics and head men’s basketball coach Thomas Ryan spoke about the updates.
Ryan cites that the construction in Cobb is actually taking space from the gym, gallery and hallway to make more offices so that all of the coaches Macarthur Gym would be located in Cobb. The plan is that all athletic department staff members with the exception of the trainers will have offices in the athletics offices and the athletic trainers would have satellite desks.
Construction workers are adding two offices from the storage room that was in Macarthur. Then in the Cobb side, they are putting a hallway so that the Cobb Gallery can still function. They have used a corridor and they are going to put a wall up for a total of six new offices in the Cobb building.
According to Ryan, the coaches that will be moved into Cobb are the women's volleyball coach and Senior Woman Administrator Michelle Piantadosi-Lima, her assistant Kali Boatwright, women's basketball coach Paul Honsiger, his associate Deandra Schirmer, men's basketball coach and Athletic Director Tom Ryan, his associate assistant and three assistant basketball coaches. Lastly, the sports information director and his assistant.
“Getting the coaches into the middle of campus where they can interact with the student athletes and the professors... they are so much more accessible,” Ryan said.
Further plans for renovations include the McArthur Gymnasium and the associated locker room buildings, the Main Cafe Bon Appetit and Franklin Templeton.