Lyons Den: School Committee OKs Naming HS Court After Former Coach

Photo: The court at the high school is now named after Belmont resident Paul Lyons. 

Belmont High School indoor teams will be playing at a “new” home as the Belmont School Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8 voted unanimously to name the playing surface in the Wenner Field House after Paul Lyons, the legendary high school basketball coach and resident.

Calling the honor “worthy and timely” for a man with great values, Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan noted the naming comes a quarter century after Lyons led Belmont to its only basketball state title in 1994.

The campaign to name the court after Lyons was led by David Ramsey and Ralph Jones, two longtime members of the Marauder Basketball Association, who wanted to pay tribute to his coaching triumphs as well as supporting the game in town.

Phelan said a wall plaque will be dedicated to Lyons and the court named for him.

Phelan also revealed that as the new school building will be built around the field house and school’s Higginbottom Pool, the main court could be turned 90 degrees which will permit three full-sized courts to be located in the Wenner.

Tearin’ Up the Wenner Floor! Installation of New Court Underway

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.

Ground breaking-2

Those responsible for the new court at Wenner Field House: John Carson; Committee Member, Michael DiMarco; Belmont Savings, Jim Reynolds; Belmont Boosters President, David Ramsey; Committee Member, Chris Messer; Committee Member, Hal Tovin; Belmont Savings, Matt Cubstead; BYBA President, John Phelan; Superintendent of Schools, Dan Richards; Belmont High School principal. Absent from the organizing committee are Jon Baldi and Paula Christofori.

Cool and Dark: Belmont High’s New Court Design Unveiled

Photo: The new basketball/volleyball court at Belmont High School will be ready for the volleyball season in September. 

Stone gray and midnight blue will color the new varsity court at the Wenner Field House as Belmont Athletic Director Jim Davis unveiled the new design to the School Committee at the final committee meeting of the school year on Monday, June 22 at the Chenery Middle School.

Replacing the long threadbare 20-year-old vinyl court will be a padded, modern synthetic court displaying the school’s mascot in the center circle and “Belmont” “Marauders” on either end. Construction will begin in late-July and be completed at the end of August.

The darkish color scheme will complement Belmont’s home “white” kits.

Along with the new court, the rims on the varsity court will be repaired or replaced.

The new court – which will be inaugurated with a game by Belmont High’s Volleyball team in September – was financed by a $100,000 appropriation from the Capital Budget Committee and private funds, chiefly from duel $35,000 contributions from the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation and the Belmont Youth Basketball Association. An additional $5,000 was raised at a fundraiser at Hopkinton Country Club.

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.

The adjacent junior variety court will be completed in the summer of 2016.