Written by: Aaron Mumu
Led by Marcus Abejar, senior marketing major and Student Association executive vice president, SA Senate will build two new outdoor basketball courts next to the lower tennis court behind Hulsey Wellness Center. Construction for the project will begin as soon as the weather improves.
According to Abejar, creating the outdoor basketball courts will cost just under $84,000, while excavating and grading will cost over $28,000. SA Senate also plans to install four lighting poles, costing an additional $24,000, to allow students to play basketball at night. In total, the entire project will cost around $135,000 to $136,000.
The funds for this project come directly from the SA contingency fund. According to Jessica Ing, sophomore business administration major and SA executive secretary, the money from this fund can only be used for projects that students create. These funds cannot be used for any projects not previously allocated for.
“We want to do something that will benefit a lot of people,” Ing said.
After the pick-up games in Iles Gym were discontinued due to COVID-19, Abejar hopes the new outdoor courts will provide a space for students to play basketball together. Students like Jon Pinero, junior psychology major, said a new court will benefit students.
“I like this one here,” Pinero said, referring to the single basketball hoop in Southern Village. “But I know having a full court will be awesome.”
Pinero also said that “Even though we have a gym, it’s occupied a lot. Having it outdoors will give us more accessibility.”
According to Dennis Negrón, vice president for Student Development, the idea for an outdoor basketball court had been considered by SA Senate for over five years. It ultimately took Abejar’s leadership for the project to move forward. Because the project is scheduled to be completed in the early summer, Abejar finds it unfortunate that he graduates this May.
“I’m excited,” Abejar said, “but [I] won’t be able to see this project until after I leave and graduate.”