The anticipated renovation and expansion project of the high school gym at McClain High School took another step forward with the ceremonial groundbreaking this week during the district’s regular school board meeting.
The groundbreaking signals the start of a project that was initially slated to begin last spring, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The expansion will extend the east side of the new gym facade out into the courtyard, allowing more room on the first floor to add ticketing and a concession area and more space on the second floor for additional locker room space in both the girls and boys areas. The project also includes renovating outdated restrooms in the first-floor lobby.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the first of November and is not anticipated to interfere with access to the new gym.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, superintendent Quincey Gray noted all the work that has gone into the project, including working with architect Mark Heiny to create a space most beneficial for all; those who have worked to safely prepare for storage all the items contained in and around the trophy cases; and the collaboration of Huhtamaki, Sewell Motor Express and Greenfield Research in ensuring a safe and ample space for storing items during the project.
She also thanked the McClain Athletic Boosters, who have been actively involved in the development of the concession area and will also provide the equipment for it. Gray noted that the district is looking forward to working with Waddell Display Cases, which will be supplying new cases for the lobby.
In closing, Gray shared a quote offered by Edward Lee McClain during the dedication of the high school more than 100 hundred years ago: “As promising the most good to the greatest number for the longest time.”
“This project will go on to serve the students, staff and the community in our school district for many years to come,” Gray said.
In other meeting business, board members recognized spring athletes from baseball, softball and track.
Those recognized included: Mason Ratcliff, baseball, All-FAC and second team all-district; Bri Weller, softball, All-FAC and first team all-district; Josie Crabtree, softball,All-FAC and second team all-district; Kerigan Pollard, track — FAC champion in 100 meters, 200 meters, and 300-meter hurdles, regional qualifier in 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, and state qualifier in 300-meter hurdles; Lily Barnes, track, FAC champion in shot put and discus, regional qualifier in shot put and discus, and state qualifier in discus; Geneve Baril, track, regional qualifier in 1600-meters and 3200-meters, and state qualifier in 3200 meters; Iva Easter, track, regional qualifier in 100 meters; Braden Wright, track, FAC champion in 400 meters and district champion and regional qualifier in high jump; Nathan Ernst, track, FAC Champion 800 meters; and Seth Wise, track, regional qualifier in 110-meter hurdles.
Track teams recognized were: girls 4 x 400 district champion and regional qualifier (Iva Easter, Luca Matesic, Ryan Butterbaugh and Kaitlyn Jett); girls 4 x 200 regional qualifier (Luca Matesic, Ryan Butterbaugh, Macey McCune and Iva Easter); girls 4 x 100 regional qualifier (Emma Stegbauer, Luca Matesic, Macey McCune and Iva Easter); boys 4 x 100 district champion and regional qualifier (Brandon King, Braden Wright, Seth Wise and Matt Bliss); and boys 4 x 400 regional qualifier (Matt Bliss, Alex Snyder, Braden Wright and Lyle White.
Additionally, the girls track and field team was recognized for being Frontier Athletic Conference champs.
In her report to the board, Gray said that the district grounds and buildings are busy places during the summer months and acknowledged the “hot, hard days” that the maintenance and custodial staff are putting in throughout the summer in their work on summer projects.
Employment recommendations approved by the board were: Guyanna Black, middle school language arts; Annemarie Brier, elementary music; Becky Crabtree, special programs secretary; Jesse Ponder, bus driver; Eleanor Morrison, dramatics assistant; Katie Joose, cross country assistant; Travis Snyder, boys basketball assistant; Ethan Hurtt, football assistant; Mark Bihl, fall weight room supervisor; Corey White, boys basketball assistant; Bruce Barnhart, seventh grade basketball; Marcus Coleman; boys basketball assistant; Richard Bivens, head varsity wrestling and football assistant; Kenny Branscom, head baseball; Coty Barnhart, seventh grade basketball and middle school wrestling; Evan McGlone, football assistant; Howard Zody, football assistant; and Andy Bolender, softball assistant.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.