Eye of the Marauder: Belmont High’s New Court Up and Running

Photo: The new court at the Wenner.

Just six months after getting together with a group of friends at Conley’s Pub for a beer and to throw around the “wild” idea of replacing the worst basketball court – the vinyl floor at Belmont High’s Wenner Field House – any high school team had to play on, John Carson was standing on a shiny, new surface ready for action.  

“This is amazing,” said Carson, as he and that original group of supporters, school officials and the captains of this coming season’s Belmont High basketball celebrated the court’s completion at Wenner Field House on Monday, Aug. 31.

“Amazing that, one, we pulled it off, and two, it looks this damn good,” he said.

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John Carson.

The new stone grey and dark blue court – which will be inaugurated by Belmont High’s Volleyball team at a scrimmage this week – is a composite surface that took Rockland-based American Sport Floors about five weeks to complete.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” said Carson, who said once the original group of supporters – made up of himself, Paula Christofori, Jon Baldi, Chris Messer and David Ramsey – decided to move forward with the plan, it would take “only 10 to 12 weeks to get the money to do all this.”

The new court is an example of a growing trend in Belmont where – whether out of frustration or due to  philanthropic intentions – residents, businesses and groups join to raise the private funds needed to build or improve public infrastructure that town government is finding harder to finance.

Recently, private monies have been used to repair school playgrounds, irrigate town fields and “rescue” the new swimming facility, to name a few. 

The new varsity court joins the list of privately funded/public amenities that included a pair of $35,000 contributions; from the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation and Belmont Youth Basketball Association. 

“In no way did [Belmont Savings] want their logo on [the center court] because they wanted to do the right thing, so hats off to them,” said Carson.

An additional $40,000 was collected from private individuals – “from $10 to $5,000,” said Carson – and $15,000 from Belmont Boosters allowed for the entire varsity areas to be redone. 

The adjacent JV court and surrounding areas will be completed in the summer of 2016 financed by a $100,000 appropriation from the town’s Capital Budget Committee.

Carson also praised Belmont Schools Superintendent John Phelan as “someone who gets things done” for making the project a priority “because it will be used by all students, and that was a key for him.” 

Opening the court to the players for a brief shoot-around – Carson said hopefully the new court “will bring a championship with it.”

“No pressure, guys,” he said to the players. 

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Comments

  1. Annette Carson says

    John,

    It’s awesome. You must be so thrilled with the outcome. Feel good about yourself, all those who contributed in any way and the town of Belmont. Remember clearly when the project was introduced…job so well done. I can’t wait to be there and see it in use.

    Your Mom

  2. Ellen Schreiber says

    Many thanks to John Carson, Paula Christofori, Jon Baldi, Chris Messer and David Ramsey for making this happen. Thousands of children use that gym floor every year, and they will all be safer thanks to your efforts.

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