When the Colorado volleyball team begins practices this fall, it will do so on a brand new floor.
The CU athletics department is currently working on giving the CU Events Center a new look and Folsom Field a new sound, while also renovating a portion of seating in the stadium.
This week, CU began the process of tearing up the old floor at the Events Center. It will soon be replaced by a brand new floor, just in time for the volleyball team to break it in this fall and the basketball teams to put it to use over the winter.
The old floor was installed about 14 years ago, according to CU deputy athletic director Jason DePaepe.
“We’ve gotten our money’s worth out of it for sure,” DePaepe said. “There’s only so much life you can get out of a floor. We were coming towards the end of our usable life for that floor so it was time to move on and put a new one in.”
The permanent floor must be removed piece by piece. The process began this week and should be done early next week. The process of installing the new, permanent floor will begin later this month.
Athletic director Rick George said the athletes will probably feel a difference when they begin using the new floor.
“If there were dead spots around in the previous floor those will be ironed out,” he said. “It was time for us to upgrade it. It’ll be exciting to get a new floor in there for sure.”
As for the look of the new floor, it won’t be dramatically different. George said CU had the student-athletes involved in the process of figuring out the design.
The old floor had a secondary “Ralphie” logo painted at center court – using the color of the wood for the “CU” in the middle of the logo. The new floor will use the primary “Ralphie” logo, with a gold “CU” and gold trim. The logo will be a graphic, rather than painted on the floor.
“It’ll be more of a traditional design,” DePaepe said. “Nothing too outlandish. We’ll put our primary mark out there and that’ll be the big difference that people will notice.”
The other difference is that the Flatirons design on the old floor will be removed, but DePaepe said, “The Flatiron geometry that is typical around our facilities will be on the sidelines.”
The floor itself, DePaepe said, “Will be very clean, very classic.”
While the floor is being replaced, two projects are underway at Folsom Field: a new sound system and renovated seating for the Byron R. White Club.
The sound system has long been a complaint of fans and has been a priority for CU this offseason.
“Nobody wants to check that box more than I do, I guarantee you that,” DePaepe said.
The new speaker arrays have been welded in place at the Dal Ward Center behind the north end zone. The system will not be fully installed until early next year, however, because of supply chain issues.
“There are components that we know aren’t going to be here until December and they were ordered months and months ago,” DePaepe said. “There’s only so much you can do.”
CU fans will notice a difference this football season, however.
“There’s no way we’re going to get it working as designed before football, but we will get it working,” DePaepe said. “I feel comfortable right now that we’ll be able to turn those new speakers on for football, but we probably won’t finish the sound system completely as designed until next spring, to be honest.
“Even though the system won’t be complete as designed, people are going to notice a huge improvement because we’ve got brand new speakers. It’s just going to be such a huge improvement from where we’ve been that I’m excited about that piece of it coming together.”
At the 18-year-old Byron White Club section of the stadium, there had been some rust built up on the deck, while seats became weathered. The rust has been removed and the bare metal recoated. New seats in that section will be installed before the football season begins in September.
“That project is going really well and we’re right on right on pace where we need to be,” DePaepe said.