By Louis-Riel Rebelles
There’s a new gym in town, and it’s raising the game yet again at a school already well-recognized for its innovative approach to sport in a scholastic setting.
In addition to North America’s lone 400-metre indoor track, a full-size soccer field, fitness and physiotherapy centres, the Dome LR now features a new gym floor that can be used as a full-size FIBA regulation basketball court or side-by-side volleyball/badminton courts.
A $200,000+ project, the first-class Pulastic Sports Flooring surface opened on the heels of winter exams at Louis-Riel.
“We are very pleased to have the continued commitment of the CEPEO (French public school board) to invest in our facilities and to further augment our leading position in the sports-études domaine,” says Louis-Riel high school principal Roch Pilon. “Our students and the community are sure to draw an enormous benefit from this, and we’re very proud to offer them this additional enhancement to our excellent athletic facilities.”
Located in the far tip of the track infield, the rubberized floor makes it easier on joints, backs and whatever other diving body parts may hit the ground during sports activities. There is lots of room to jump-serve in volleyball, and there are no ceiling height restrictions inside the mammoth Dome, which has been brightened thanks to reflected lighting on the new surface.
“It adds an extra gym to our school, which is really needed,” underlines sports-études coordinator Ken Levesque. “We were really lacking practice space at lunchtime, after school and in the morning for both our volleyball and basketball programs. This gives them the opportunity to practice at both venues.”
Louis-Riel can now host interscholastic games inside the Dome as well as its gymnasium, with spectator bleachers and player benches set to arrive soon. Eventually, they’d like to host tournaments, and long-term, the vision is to add a new triple-gymnasium facility at LR – perhaps on land that could fully connect the school to the Dome – which could then open the door to hosting even bigger national or international-level competitions.
“We’re really excited,” Levesque highlights. “The new gym floor doesn’t quite complete everything we want to have, but it certainly helps all our sports teams and our programs and permits them to practice and train at a high level, and it also allows our whole student body to experience top-notch classes and facilities. Everyone loves it.”