College Invests in Facility Upgrades During Pandemic
Forget sitting on the sidelines during a pandemic. For the Athletics program at Allegany College of Maryland, there’s been a top to bottom overhaul of some of the college’s most beloved spaces with plans for continued upgrades this summer.
For the first time in 20 years, the Bob Kirk arena within the Physical Education Building was professionally sanded and sealed. The floor of the arena’s updated design includes the ACM Trojans Shield logo at center court, the debut of the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (JUCO) logo and an updated National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) logo. The redesign also features the iconic signature of Coach Bob Kirk.
“We’ve replicated Coach Kirk’s signature in two key locations: in front of our home bench and where ACM fans cheer on our men and women’s basketball and volleyball teams,” said Athletic Director Tommie Reams. “It’s a reminder that small colleges like ours can produce exceptional graduates and inspiring individuals.”
The college’s five-lane heated swimming pool, also within the Physical Education building, was repainted.
Outside, the biggest physical change to the Athletics program is the addition of a newly constructed regulation softball field.
Thanks to funding through the Community Parks & Playground Program of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Lady Trojans and community softball teams now have a regulation field complete with dugouts and a new scoreboard donated by First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union. ACM and community soccer teams will play this fall on a fully revamped field with new goals provided through Project Open Space funding and a scoreboard funded by Rod Buskirk, president of Chaney-Buskirk Insurance and an ACM alum. Two sets of portable 21-foot bleachers were donated to be shared between the two fields for fans.
Later this spring and summer, plans are underway for a new batting cage for the college’s softball and baseball teams, the outdoor basketball courts will be repaved with new poles and backboards installed, and the macadam track will be resealed and lined. Plans are in the works for the construction of outdoor volleyball courts. Much of the improvements are funded through grants and the generosity of local community members and businesses, according to Reams.
“It’s a slam dunk for the entire community, not just our students and student athletes. It’s important that everyone have access to high quality facilities. A place to play a pickup game of basketball with friends, enjoy a tennis match with a long-time rival, or be part of a youth running group,” explained Reams. “We expect that the repainting of the pool will make a big splash with our swimming programs, especially our water aerobics groups.”
Popular with the hundreds of community members who utilize it daily, ACM’s one-mile track will be improved with additional gravel this spring. The track is open for use, but the college requests that walkers and runners practice appropriate social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.