Of all the supremely generous gestures — from the donations of time and materials, to watching friends and strangers alike take a big interest in improving one corner of the Boulder High athletics program — it was the devotion shown by a few of the Panthers’ own athletes that struck athletic director Melissa Warfield the most.
The renovation of the fieldhouse at Boulder’s Recht Field, made necessary by a debilitating combination of age and water damage from last year’s floods, brought together a dedicated mixture of students, faculty, parents, and local businessmen to give the fieldhouse a complete makeover.
Last month, during the World Cup, a handful of football and track athletes were taking a shift helping to paint the Panthers’ locker room. Early that afternoon they asked to sneak away to watch the latest United States match, promising to return at 4 p.m.
They did, and of course Warfield immediately asked who won.
“They said the game wasn’t over yet,” Warfield said. “It wasn’t over yet, and still here they were, back at it at 4 on the dot. That’s just amazing character to see from youths today. This meant that much to them to get this done. It was impressive.”
While the official unveiling remains about two weeks away, the alterations and improvements certainly have put a shiny new veneer upon a fieldhouse that, to put it mildly, often could have been described as dank and gloomy.
In the Panthers’ locker rooms, gone is the flimsy carpeting that was both an eyesore and unsanitary. In its place is a solid, multi-purpose floor that will not retain moisture and be far easier to clean. The drab paint has been replaced by an eye-catching gold-over-purple design, and brand new tiles have been affixed to the rows of benches in front of the lockers.
Warfield said the paint, paint supplies, and tiles all were donated from local businesses. Coaches from Boulder’s entire athletic department, led by longtime track and field coach Carl Worthington and football coach Bob Simmons, helped lead much of the manual labor. And Warfield nearly grew breathless trying to name all the parents and alumni that played key roles in donating time and/or equipment.
Boulder will officially unveil its revamped fieldhouse the night of the football team’s scrimmage on Aug. 21, and it will be ready to roll for all of the Panthers’ athletic programs this fall.
“I’m really proud of the effort that everyone gave. It was a real community effort and a lot of different people made contributions to make it happen,” Warfield said. “Coming in here and seeing this, and especially since (the athletes) were involved in this, you can’t help but walk in and have a sense of pride. It’s something everyone took part in, program-wide and across sports. We’re grateful for all the work that got it done.”
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