Student Helps Design Young Center Gym Floor


BHSU Athletics

BHSU’s Donald E Young Center is Newly Remodeled with the help of Student Colton Nickelson

Danielle Doney, Student Reporter

Creating a new design for the basketball gym floor at the Black Hills State University Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center was an exciting task for senior Colton Nickelson. Graduating in the fall with a double major in Graphic Design and Communications and in Mass Media, as well as a minor in Marketing, it is clear that he has talent as well as ambition.

Nickelson has been involved with creating print and digital publications for the athletic department since his freshman year in 2010. While he has had plenty of experience creating different types of projects, this was the first gym floor design that he has ever done.

“As far as unique projects, I would say that this one takes the cake by far,” stated Nickelson.

Developing and completing the design was a collaborative effort between Nickelson and the Athletic Director, Jhett Albers. Nickelson brainstormed and created, while Albers gave his opinions.

“The one thing I wanted to do with this project was to make our new floor stand out above the rest of the schools in the RMAC [Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference],” said Nickelson.

The new floor certainly does stand out. The design features a honeycomb pattern throughout the court baseline and transitions partially into the basketball court itself. Home of the Yellow Jackets is clearly printed and visible from both the east and west bleachers. Sting — the BHSU mascot — is placed right in the center of it all.

“The design is simple and functional,” said Nickelson, “and the honeycomb texture is something we have been experimenting with for a while now.”

Albers was very pleased with the final design adding, “Colton is good at working with the software programs that can visually show the design we are wanting.”

Construction of the floor was a quick process. The project started in July and was finished by the end of August.

“It took them three to four days to tear out the old floor,” said Nickelson, “it was fun to watch, I would go in every so often and a quarter of the floor would just be gone.”

Sections of the old floor were given away like souvenirs. Individuals involved in the project, as well as a few athletes and coaches, were given the opportunity to take home a piece of the floor for themselves. Some individuals have even created functional furnishings out of the floor.

“I made a coat hanger out of mine. It looks great, I love it,” Nickelson commented.

The new Young Center gym floor redesign is an exciting renovation and a stunning addition to the BHSU campus for students, coaches, staff, and spectators. Nickelson’s contribution to the Young Center will make an impact long after he graduates.

“For spectators to be able to see and just call that Black Hills State’s floor is going to be a neat deal,” said Men’s Basketball Coach, Bradd Schafer, in a previous interview with BHSU Media.

“We believe that it really upgraded our gym to one of the best in the Region and in our Conference,” stated Albers.