By Marleigh Canter
Byram Hills High School events bring athletes, students, and families together as a united community. We are brought together to cheer as one collective unit through the hundreds of sporting events that take place in the gymnasium. Thus, with the great pride Byram takes in the athletics program, new bleachers were installed this year!
Since bleachers were originally not meant to function outdoors, wooden benches would often get “bleached” by the sun, hence the name. The Dickson Baseball Dictionary states that these open seats area were called the “bleaching boards,” as early as 1877.
After having our gymnasium bleachers seat our Bobcats fans for over 20 years, it was time to change seats—literally! Say goodbye to the old wooden bleachers, and say hello to the vibrant Bobcat blue beauties! Principal Walsh is looking forward to the change and to seeing, “those bleachers filled with fans, supporting volleyball, basketball, and other teams that play in there.”
This project was no easy task. According to Director of Health and Athletics, Mr. Rob Castanga, it took three years to complete, but “the installation took two weeks.” Principal Walsh explained, “It wasn’t a major project, but it turned into a big project because we had to do it during the school year.”
One major reason for the change was the difficulty in setting up the old bleachers. The pre-existing bleachers required quite a bit of time and manpower to assemble. According to physical education teacher Ms. Healey, the new bleachers are “easier to pull in and out, more accessible before and after class, which ultimately reduces setup time.” The new bleachers will allow for an easy and efficient way to have gatherings in the gym. Mr. Castanga added, “The model selected is a standard model for movable seating.”
Are you wondering if we’ll be able to fit more spectators for our amazing Byram Hills events? The answer is no, but those coming to cheer us on will be more comfortable. Mr. Castagna explained that although the new bleachers do have one section a bit longer than the previous set, “They cannot hold more people than the previous set.” Quality over quantity was the goal–so that our guests are that much more at ease during those suspenseful Byram Hills Bobcats basketball games. Mr. Walsh explained the administration’s goal was “to make the spectator’s experience more comfortable.” Mr. Castagna agreed and stated the bleachers “are designed to be more accommodating for spectators.”
Have you been in the gymnasium lately and seen these beauties? They give a whole new look to the upper gym with the transformation from wood to the bright school colors. With our students, teachers, parents, friends and school administration behind such an ambitious project, it is time to sit back and enjoy. Go Bobcats–this time with the comfort of a splinter-free seating experience!