Clark Ehman (Freshman)
Walking into the Obama gym is like walking into the past. There are red safety pads on the wall, a burgundy stripe on the ceiling, and burgundy bleachers. The only signs that point to this gym being located in Obama Academy are the eagle painted on center court and a large “OA” painted on the walls.
This is embarrassing. Right now, when other basketball and volleyball teams come to play at Obama, they see burgundy instead of purple and black. They see remnants of an old school where they should see the innovation and progress of a new one.
Soon, all of that will change. Starting this summer, I will be leading a massive long-term gym remodeling project. The actions the project hopes to accomplish are four-fold. They all contribute towards a final goal of gym revitalization.
The first step will be to resurface all of the wall mats with black vinyl. While the current supplier of the mats is uncertain, once an acceptable vendor has been found, a fundraising campaign will begin to purchase them. Local businesses and friends of the school will be asked to donate to the project, and donors will receive plaques to recognize their donation.
The second part of the project will be to repaint the large paint stripe close to the ceiling. It will be redone with a line of purple on top, and a line of black on the bottom. Several new large murals will also be laid on. We hope to paint school and district logos, as well as an expansive eagle. These will all hopefully be done by students.
The third phase of the project will be to purchase championship banners for all nineteen varsity sports. While some teams have not won championships, a banner will be purchased for them nonetheless. Each year a championship has been won, the year will be printed onto a piece of fabric that will be stitched onto the banner. The banners will be purchased from Oxford Pennant Company in Buffalo, New York.
Once all of this is complete, the fourth phase will begin. We will look for outside funding for new scoreboards, as well as purple seat covers for the bleachers. The acquisition of these final pieces will mark the end of the project.
While the scope is large and full funding is not yet secured, I hope that these renovations will add another facet to Obama school culture.