Preston Center to close briefly for repairs

Emma Collins

The Preston Center will be closed for a three-week period over winter break while the facility undergoes two construction projects.

Chief facilities officer Bryan Russell said the two projects include renovating the deck and patio area of the Bill Powell Natatorium and repairing the hardwood floors on the first floor of the gym.

Debbie Pace, project manager, said the construction around the pool will involve replacing the pool deck and patio with a new non-slip floor. The process involves removing the current layer of paint, replacing caulk and repairing cracks in the concrete.


“Repairs will be made in such a way that they will blend in with existing texture and will not be noticeable,” Pace said in an email.

Pace said a sealant with an anti-slip component will also be added for safety purposes. The project is expected to cost $22,895.

Project manager Jed Peterson will oversee the first-floor repairs.

In an email, Peterson said every summer the department of intramural-recreational sports reseals the maple strip hardwood floors; however, the repairs this winter will be more extensive. The 36,500 square foot area that will be worked on includes the gym courts, racquetball courts and dance studio floor.

Peterson said the first step will be to sand off the finish on the hardwood floor and clean and prepare the surface to be resealed. Before applying a sealer and finish, game lines and graphics will be reapplied.

“This is the first time since the original installation in 1992 that the floors have been sanded to bare natural wood and refinished,” Peterson said.

The total project is expected to cost $78,759.

Sean Sherwood, assistant director of intramural-recreational sports, said Preston will close when the projects start on Dec. 12. The gym will reopen on Jan. 3.

Sherwood said any WKU student who wishes to use a gym during that three-week period will have the option to visit Total Fitness Connection, a gym with locations on Russellville Road and Three Springs Road.

Eric Burnett, facilities manager at TFC, said WKU students will have access to all of TFC’s facilities. These include an Olympic-size swimming pool, weight room, cardio center, child care and physical therapy screenings. To access the gym, students will need to present their WKU student I.D. at the front desk where they will be registered as new TFC members. They will be given a membership card which will allow them to receive all the benefits of TFC members.

Reporter Emma Collins can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @_emma_collins_.