Cody Leist – PDT Sports Writer
When change is inevitable, the results may be fruitful.
Over the summer, the gymnasium at Notre Dame High School received a much-needed makeover to the tune of approximately $120,000. Through financial and material donations by private backers and the Columbus Diocese that totaled $150,000, patrons can witness a newly-renovated gymnasium, foyer and restrooms during Titan home athletic contests.
“Folks are very, very excited here,” Notre Dame Athletic Director Mike Sammons said in an interview before the start of the fall sports season. “It was pretty much done all through donations. We didn’t know how much it was going to cost.”
Since 1952, Notre Dame basketball and volleyball teams as well as their opponents had played on the same floor. When the floor was removed during the renovation, holes were found drilled into the concrete. Although there was no evidence of water, there were theories of how moisture seeped underneath to rot the wood.
Before Logan-based Final Floor was brought in to install the new hardwood, the sub flooring was also repaired to keep the integrity of the wood true. According to its company website, Final Floor completed 40 projects for various elementary, junior high, high school and community centers throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia in 2010 alone.
With the help of designs created by new baseball coach Drew Mader and current girls basketball coach J.D. McKenzie, the company installed a two-tone floor which includes the Titan head logo as the mid-court emblem with the block ND in the back ground.
“This is the most detailed project they’ve ever done,” Sammons said.
The overall layout of the floor was changed as new bleachers were installed. This allows a better flow for fans to move around the facility without interfering with play.
Also installed are new mats along the baseline walls, an improved sound system up-to-date lighting and new backboards.
While this project was ongoing, the basketball and volleyball teams had to conduct practices, summer camps and scrimmages either at the old West Middle School or Shawnee State University.
The money for the foyer and bathrooms was obtained thanks to a grant from the Columbus Diocese. All work done in this area was completed by volunteers and spearheaded by school board president Louis Berger.
Beyond the walls for the public to see, improvements were also made to the locker rooms, training room and the installation of a media center to review game tapes for all sports teams to use. At the time of publication, the boys locker rooms had been fully renovated and Sammons estimates the girls locker rooms are at the midway point.
Without a cent coming from the school or the athletic association, Sammons thanked all who were a part of the project, whether they wished to be named or not. At the forefront was Mike Gampp who at one point solicited up to $40,000 from Notre Dame families for this endeavor.
Another big financial donor was Jim Cricker. He helped the cause with a $50,000 gift from the Scioto County Foundation.
As for the remnants of the old floor, Sammons brought up during the August interview of the possibility of selling chunks to those interested in buying.
“It’s a piece of history,” Sammons said.
The Titans have started on the right foot in the three sports that play in the gymnasium. The volleyball and girls basketball teams each defeated East in their home openers while the boys were victorious over Whiteoak.