Tarrant courts and track closed for resurfacing

During the spring, both women’s and men’s tennis teams complete their regular seasons in Tarrant. (photo courtesy of Jim Laskarzeski)

Maverick King/Staff Writer/mking@mail.smcvt.edu

On Nov. 13, the courts and track in Tarrant Recreation Center closed for floor resurfacing. They will be closed until the spring semester, but the public weight room will remain open.

 “The decision to resurface the Tarrant fieldhouse was an institutional decision and part of the important maintenance of this heavily-used facility,” said Chris Kenny, director of Athletics. 

“We are in our thirtieth year of enjoying the Tarrant Recreation Center, and both surfaces are original to the building when it opened in 1994.” 

According to Kara Lowe, director of Athletic Internal Operations, the athletic administration is putting a new, state-of-the-art flooring in Tarrant that better suits all parties that use it. Lowe also said the new flooring will feature St. Michael’s College colors.

 Alex Smith, the men’s Lacrosse coach, attested to the need for new flooring. Smith said that there have been many injuries over the years due to the outdated floor in Tarrant, including torn ACLs, stress fractures, and many slips and falls.

 “Giving our athletes a safe and solid surface is something we are in full support of,” said Smith. 

Lowe said the athletic administration had been discussing the possibility of resurfacing Tarrant for a few years, but officially got confirmation last February. 

“Getting it in our school colors [is] a great touch that will give our athletes a home they can be proud of,” said Smith. “If you think about all the awesome things we’ve had going our way from an athletics perspective, this is another really big step for us in legitimizing our programs and giving us a chance to be competitive athletically in our conference.” 

Matthew Safer ‘26, a member of the St. Michael’s College baseball team, expressed his excitement to hear of the renovation project. “I’m pumped to hear about updates to our facilities,” Safer said. “We’re in Tarrant every day for 6-7 weeks in the preseason before games, so being able to practice in a place that feels like home will be great for us.” 

Despite excitement over the new flooring, there are some hurdles that students and administration will have to work through. Closure on Nov. 13 means that students will not be able to access Tarrant for the last four weeks of the semester, including finals week.

 Lowe said that the company doing the renovation was booked over the summer, which would have been the ideal time for it.

 Safer said it will be tough not being able to use Tarrant for the remainder of the semester. He and his friends use the space a lot, especially when the weather gets cold. 

Kenny said, “It’s not desirable to have the project happening during the academic year, but it is late in the semester, with Thanksgiving Break and Final Exams impacting teams and students’ use of the space, followed by the semester break, so that will help to minimize the inconvenience.” 

Lowe mentioned that the Ross Sports Center will be made available to students in the meantime. 

Open court times will differ from the typical hours, but both side courts in Ross will be available for recreation, Lowe said. 

Someone will monitor Ross during open hours because certain activities, like floor hockey, aren’t allowed on the wooden courts. 

“We have to be more cautious in the Ross courts because of it being wood and [concerns about] the types of shoes on there,” Lowe said. “I will provide times when it will be available.”

The resurfacing project in Tarrant is expected to be completed by the beginning of the spring semester, according to Kenny. Kenny confirmed plans for further renovations in the athletic buildings. 

“We have more renovations planned for the Ross and Tarrant complex, and we look forward to the creation of the Kelley Ski Center at Senior Hall. Both projects are in the permit phase,” Kenny said.

Tarrant floor and track before renovation, Nov. 14. (Photo by Alex Weiss)
Tarrant floor and track before renovation, Nov. 14. (photo by Alex Weiss)