Plans in the works to update Gregory Gym locker rooms, infrastructure

Savana Dunning

Planned renovations to the locker rooms and minor infrastructure inside Gregory Gymnasium are in the works and are expected to start by the end of next semester.

“It’s kind of a big puzzle right now, so unfortunately there isn’t a lot of detail,” said Jennifer Speer, Recreational Sports senior communications director. “Our goal is, toward the end of spring, to have a solidified plan for the first couple of projects and the schedule.”

In February, RecSports director Tom Dison provided an overview for plans to update infrastructure within Gregory Gym at a faculty committee meeting. The initial plans were created after RecSports and Project Management and Construction Services requested a building assessment of the gym to be performed by Jacobs Engineering Firm.

The assessment determined minor renovations need to be done to certain areas, including elements of its air conditioning system, plumbing, structural foundation, roofing and electrical equipment.

“(As) with all of our RecSports facilities, we have a building assessment done from time to time to make sure we have a plan for infrastructure things,” Speer said. “Anything from lighting to roofs to HVAC systems — those types of things. We want to make sure we have a replacement plan and funding resources set up for that.”

Peter Schaack, building manager for Gregory Gym, said RecSports is still reviewing the assessment to determine what features need to be updated and how much it will cost.

“We don’t have a specific list of items to be updated at this time,” Schaack said in an email. “Funding will be determined when Recreational Sports has a finalized renovation list with estimated prices.”

Speer said the biggest and first change to Gregory Gym that will be made is the locker room renovation project.

“We know we need to update them,” Speer said. “Needs have changed both in the functionality of locker rooms. We’re talking about how to bring students to the table for feedback on what the new locker rooms would look like, what amenities are needed in them … that (is a) process we’re just starting now.”

Victor Olivo, a microbiology alumnus and current software engineer for UT, said he has used the Gregory Gym locker rooms for the past eight years. 

“They’re like every other locker room I’ve been to at commercial gyms,” Olivo said. “Maybe a little bit dirtier … Greg’s pretty old, the locker rooms haven’t changed since I started school here back in 2010, so if they’re renovating them, that’s pretty cool.”

Speer said the plans are currently in the early stages of development and the projects are expected to be undertaken in an eight-year to 10-year period to prevent interference with regular use of the gym.

“This whole plan is like a 10-year plan of renovation,” Speer said. “It’s not like we’re going to shut down Gregory and do things. It’s going to be smaller projects that can be done behind the scenes or during break periods so we don’t affect our users.”