Gosman to add gender-inclusive locker rooms, locker rooms for all varsity sports

November 22, 2019

Gender-inclusive locker rooms will be added as part of a renovation program to Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, Athletic Director Lauren Haynie told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. The two phase renovation will not only allow each varsity program to have its own locker room but will also modernize the current locker rooms. 

The goal of the renovations is to ensure “equity for all varsity programs,” Haynie told The Hoot in an interview. She said that with the current locker room system, only some varsity teams are allowed to keep their locker room for the entire academic year. Other teams were forced to vacate their space in order to make space for other teams. Haynie said that space had always been a concern in Gosman. 

“Some of the team room spaces weren’t designed with the number of students that we have on our rosters,” she said. “This [renovation] gave us the opportunity to right size and also the potential for growth in the future, both in the locker room space and the actual teams.”

The first phase of the renovations will ensure that all varsity programs will have their own locker rooms and the creation of a gender-inclusive locker room. “The building [Gosman] was built at a time when we didn’t have as many women’s programs,” Haynie said, which is why many teams are required to share locker rooms. 

The expansion of the team lockers comes from a downsizing of the women’s general locker room. Currently, the general use men’s and women’s locker rooms are equally sized, but there is a significant difference in the populations that use each locker room, according to Haynie. She further explained that staff members are able to track how many lockers are rented, so while downsizing the women’s locker room, they are able to ensure an ample amount of space for students to utilize the locker room if they redesign. 

“We don’t lack in locker room space,” said Haynie. “We’re just able to use that for a better use.” 

One of the spaces that is currently being used for officials will be converted into a gender-inclusive locker room, Haynie told The Hoot. These locker rooms currently do not exist at Gosman. 

“Users will be able to enter that space without having to go through either the men’s or women’s locker rooms first,” she said. 

This space also will not be split up by varsity sport but open to all, according to Haynie.

“I really give credit to students for making a gender-inclusive locker room space a priority for them,” Haynie told The Hoot. “Once that question came up, it seemed like a no brainer to us since we’re already doing work in the space and something that would impact our community positively.”

In addition, any of the current spaces that have tile flooring will be replaced with carpet. Haynie said that carpet is much cleaner and easier to maintain compared to tile, which is why Gosman decided to make the change. 

Haynie said that the first phase of renovations will begin on Dec. 1, 2019 and is expected to be finished Feb. 1, 2020. A majority of the work will be completed during winter break to ensure that the least number of students are impacted by the renovations, but Gosman will still be open with ample locker room space for all users, according to Haynie.

Haynie estimated that the cost of the first phase of the renovations will cost around $250,000 to $310,000. This price includes the creation of five new team rooms, each costing around $35,000 to $50,000 each. Extra costs would also include any previously unseen issues that may arise during the construction. 

A majority of the costs for the renovations will be paid for by the university, Haynie told The Hoot. The rest will come from athletics, mostly through alumni donations. 

The second phase will be a more long-term project, taking at least two to three years to complete, Haynie estimated. Projects in the second phase are focused towards modernizing the locker room spaces for all varsity programs. The modernization will include adding new paint jobs to most of the current locker rooms and adding new modern lockers.

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