Photo: Crew from American Sport Floors preparing for a new surface at Belmont High School’s Wenner Field House.
When former athletes heard that the basketball courts at Belmont High School’s Wenner Field House was being torn out, former players began coming to see the crew taking the surface out with requests.
They wanted their own section as a keepsake.
OK, the slippery, threadbare vinyl surface was deemed by Belmont players and opponents alike as the worst court in the Middlesex League. But Ryan, the supervisor of the crew from Rockland-based American Sport Floors, said students and alum were asking for floor samples as souvenirs, especially the painted section around the free-throw line.
As of Tuesday, July 28, the only recognizable section remaining of the former court was the Marauders logo that once stood at center court, cut out to be saved as a memento.
Since last week, Ryan and his workers have been physically peeling off the nearly three-decade old vinyl surface as part of a private/public partnership financing the installation of a new textured and padded synthetic surface at Belmont High School.
As the workers heap strips of the former floor in piles, Ryan points to places on the bare cement foundation.
“You can see where the glue never took hold,” he said.
“There was nothing holding the old surface in place since it was laid,” said Ryan.
Led by Belmont Savings Bank, Belmont Youth Basketball and Belmont Boosters, the removal and installing of the new varsity volleyball/basketball court began with the official groundbreaking held this past Monday, July 20.
At the event, Belmont Schools Superintendent John Phelan and Belmont High Principal Dan Richards were thankful and appreciative of all the donors and especially for the additional time and effort put in by the original committee made up of John Carson, Paula Christofori, Jon Baldi, Chris Messer and David Ramsey.
The new stone grey and dark blue court – which will be inaugurated by Belmont High’s Volleyball team in September – is being financed with private funds, including a pair of $35,000 contributions, one from the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation and the other from the Belmont Youth Basketball Association. An additional $5,000 was collected at a fundraiser held at Hopkinton Country Club.
A $100,000 appropriation from the Capital Budget Committee was approved by Town Meeting to complete the adjacent JV court and the surrounding area in 2016.
Originally the focus was just the varsity court but a substantial contribution of $15,000 by the Belmont Boosters will allow the the surface surrounding the court, out to the inner track, to be completed.
According to American Sport Floors, the court should be installed and painted by the start of the new school year in late August/September.