Words by Jenny Lynn Davis | Images by Al Blanton
Bevill State Community College has officially announced plans for a comprehensive renovation of the iconic Glen Clem Gymnasium, the home of the Bevill Bears Basketball team. The announcement, made during a press conference on August 24, outlines an approximately $5.2 Million project set to commence on September 15, 2023, with an anticipated completion date of August 2024.
Originally constructed in 1964, the gymnasium holds a special place in the hearts of the community and is named in honor of the late Glen Clem, a revered figure in Walker County sports history.
In recent years, Bevill State Community College has experienced a significant resurgence in its athletic programs. This renovation project aims to support and further enhance this growth by providing state-of-the-art facilities to attract top student-athletes and contribute to the institution’s overall success.
“Athletic programs play a major role in the viability of a campus and the success of what we try to accomplish here. It’s no secret that the better your facilities are, the more it attracts a potential student-athlete. We’ve made a concerted effort here at Bevill State to improve our facilities,” said Dr. Joel Hagood, President of Bevill State.
The renovation plans include both internal and external enhancements. Key upgrades include:
- A new external façade.
- An expanded lobby and improved entrances.
- Expanded restrooms.
- The addition of air conditioning.
- The addition of an elevator to improve accessibility.
- Relocation of locker rooms to a more functional space.
- Removal of the stage to make way for a glass wall, behind which will be a lower floor weight room and an upper floor multipurpose room with a court view.
The renovation project received substantial support from key community figures. Senator Greg Reed and Representative Matt Woods played integral roles in making these upgrades possible. Both Reed and Woods expressed their excitement and pride in the transformation of this iconic facility.
Reed shared, “I’m a product of this campus and went to many a basketball game at Clem Gym. It is always a privilege for me to do anything I can to be supportive of Bevill State and all of her campuses and the students, faculty, and staff associated with what makes this the absolute premium community college in Alabama.”
Woods, who has personal ties to the facility dating back to participation in Glen Clem’s basketball camps in his youth, highlighted the importance of upgrading the gymnasium to meet modern standards and create a welcoming space for students and the community.
Woods added, “This is a great day for Bevill State Community College, a great day to be an alumni, and a great day for the community. I’m very excited about the renovation of this facility.” WL