A bit of remodeling inside Mike Turner Gymnasium has forced the originally scheduled Friday home games for the Waxahachie Lady Indians and Runnin' Indians to be relocated.
The games will now be played at 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively, at Mansfield Lake Ridge High School, with the Lady Indians the first to tipoff.
The contingency plan to flip the home games with Lake Ridge was agreed to in advance, as confirmed by both Waxahachie head coaches. The two teams will now meet in Waxahachie on Jan. 30 during the second round of District 7-6A action.
According to Waxahachie ISD director of communications Jenny Bridges, the key point of the remodel was to address safety concerns with the depth of the baseline nearest the gymnasium entrance. She noted that, though the gym floor was built to the minimum standard, district officials "strongly believed that we needed more space between the baseline and wall for the safety of students."
To address the issue, the floor was sanded down, re-outlined about six feet toward the opposite end (nearest the locker rooms) and resurfaced.
Bridges also noted the project allowed for the addition of a third volleyball practice court and two cross-court basketball practice courts within the main gymnasium by turning side goals inward. The goals were initially installed facing in the same direction as the baskets on the main court.
"The finished project gives us a safer environment and the goal adjustments allow us to utilize the space more efficiently," Bridges stated.
The project cost the district about $79,000 and was funded through remaining funds from the 2016 bond.
A WISD board policy — CV Local that outlines guidelines for facilities construction — allows for the superintendent to approve any change orders valued below $80,000 without having to first present the item to the board of trustees. Change orders at or above the $80,000 threshold require board approval.
The Runnin' Indians are currently 11-7 on the season and 1-1 in District 7-6A. They also held steady at No. 11 in this week's TABC 6A poll after a 2-2 showing in the 61st annual Whataburger Tournament, which included a 66-60 win against Arlington Martin in the opening round.
Waxahachie then dropped the next two games of the tournament to San Antonio Wagner and Aldine Eisenhower by a combined seven points.
As for the Lake Ridge boys' basketball team, the Eagles are 1-1 in District 7-6A after a win against South Grand Prairie (70 - 63) and a four-point loss to DeSoto, 74-70.
The Lady Indians are 1-3 through the first four games of district play, falling in three consecutive games after a 7-6A-opening win against Mansfield Summit, 47-45. They are 14-10 on the season but are coming off of momentum-building victories against Briarcrest Christian School (Tenn) and Pearland in the 68th annual Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville.
The Lake Ridge Lady Eagles are also 1-3 in District 7-6A and currently sit at 10-9 on the season.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith