By Taylor Broderick 
BELLEVILLE – The Loyalist College  gym now has better seating since new bleachers were installed over the Christmas break.
The upgrade includes wheelchair-accessible seating, which the old bleachers didn’t have. They can fit over 250 people.
Jillian Robinson, student government president and a member of the varsity volleyball team, says a lot of hard work was put into getting the new bleachers put in and she couldn’t be happier with the end result.
“I know a lot of students and athletes, including myself, are excited to finally use these new bleachers,” Robinson said. “Hopefully they draw in more fans for our home games.”
Jim Buck, who has been the Loyalist Lancers athletic director for over six years, says the bleachers are a much-needed improvement for the affectionately named “Lancerdome .”
“They’re much safer, far more accessible and they give us more space to work with,” Buck said.
The original bleachers were 45 years old and starting to show their age, he said.
“The gym looks much more modern and up-to-date now.”
The new seats are also much more comfortable than the wooden plank that used to be there, he noted.
The bleachers incorporate custom media tables for students in the college’s media programs who are covering the games. The location of the tables allows for good camera angles for photos and video.
So far, Buck said, everyone seems happy with the way the renovation turned out.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback – not just from the athletes using the gym but also from students who regularly come to the games and people from outside the Loyalist community.”
The bleachers were made in the school’s colours: navy blue with “Loyalist Lancers” written boldly in red and white.
Buck said he hopes all the college’s athletic facilities will be redone soon, but if that doesn’t happen within the next few years, the next big project might be new flooring in the gym.
“The floors are original and starting to wear down, but we still have a few more years of use to get out of them,” he said.
Representatives of the athletics department, the student government and faculty will be unveiling the new bleachers at 5 p.m. Thursday.