Jack Stephens court receives a little TLC
The main court in the Jack Stephens Center recently underwent a refinishing project.
“We screen and recoat the floor every year,” said John Evans, director of the Jack Stephens Center. “They usually [go] seven to 10 years between sandings.”
The arena opened in 2005, and apart from regular maintenance, there were other reasons for the work. “The NCAA moved the women’s 3-point line to the same distance as the men. We did not want a line on the floor that was not needed,” Evans said.
The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the change in late May, according to NCAA.com. The line was moved from the previous measurement of 19 feet 9 inches to 20 feet 9 inches.
The panel also approved the addition of an arc, three feet from the basket, inside which “a secondary defender cannot legally take a charge.”
“The paint and lettering on the floor was starting to yellow a bit,” Evans said, “so the timing was right.”
Gym Masters, a company from Searcy, Ark., was chosen to do the refinish. “That’s who we’ve always used,” said Evans. “They’re an Arkansas company and we like to do as many things as we can locally.”
The project was started in mid August but took a little longer to finish than planned. “I don’t know if it was the humidity outside,” said Evans, “[but] for some reason, the paint didn’t dry like it should’ve.”
The floor was completely sanded, the markings were repainted and then urethane was applied. The company says to wait 72 hours after the urethane is applied before allowing anyone on the floor, but Evans said they would wait until after the Labor day weekend before any teams would begin practicing on it. “We’d rather be safe than sorry,” he said.