BOURBON — Check out the Trojans’ new digs.
Roughly three months after water from a busted pipe in the boys locker room seeped under the floorboards and ruined the hardwood floor at the Trojan Trench, Triton High School’s new gym floor is finally complete, and the finished product is something to see. The project, which bore a price tag of more than $180,000, boasts a brand new maple floor, a crisp new paint job and some beautiful stain work on the playing surface — including a Trojan head standing out in negative relief overlaid with the Trojans’ double T logo at center court — giving the floor a distinctive look among area courts. And now that it’s done, Triton administrators, athletic director Mason McIntyre in particular, can breath a big sigh of relief.
“It’s just a huge relief and just a big weight lifted off. And then to see the finished product being as beautiful as what it is just makes it that much sweeter to get to the finish line,” said McIntyre.
Construction at the Trench pretty much wrapped last Monday, when workers put the final touches on the trim base, cut out volleyball post holes and placed new inserts in them. An older design for the previous floor as well as the fact that the Trojan Trench is built underground added to the difficulty of the project, said McIntyre.
“The way that the floor was put in, it had these metal tracks about every four inches, and the boards were clipped into those tracks so there were no nails in the old system so they actually had to cut the boards with a skill saw about every 15 inches or so and then pry them out of these tracks,” he explained. “Then they had to take all of those pieces that they had removed and went with one man on each side of a trash barrel and hauled them up out of the gym. Because one of the things that people don’t remember is that we’re below ground in there — the Trench — so there’s no way to get things in and out easily other than going down the stairs. All of that had to be hauled out up those stairs and into the dumpster, so that was a chore for those guys.”
While there were some extra difficulties in the new floor’s construction, it was mostly a smooth affair. In particular, the financial side of things could hardly have gone better. Triton’s responsibility for the new gym floor included only a $1,000 insurance premium and the cost of a little concrete work that was supplemental to the actual repair work.
“We were very blessed in that the insurance covered almost the whole cost,” McIntyre said. “We had a $1,000 deductible that we had to pay and then a little bit of the old concrete work because when they pulled out the old floor, that track was actually nailed into the concrete, so when they pulled it out there were a few little holes here and there so they did just pour a little concrete into each of the little holes to make sure that water doesn’t seep up through. That was on us because that wasn’t part of the water damage. Basically they covered everything that was damaged because of the water.
“I don’t know the exact figures, but it’s a 180-some-thousand-dollar floor for the cost of, basically, our insurance deductible.”
The new-look Trojan Trench was worth the wait, but McIntyre expressed gratitude to all the parents and student-athletes who showed patience and understanding during the reconstruction.
“A big thank you to everyone in the community for their patience and flexibility with the schedules and all that. We had to do a lot of crazy things so it caused us to push some games away that were supposed to be home, lower level stuff and caused us to have some pretty late practices because that practice space was limited,” he said. “I just thank all the parents of those kids, and I’d really like to thank our senior kids too because they really lost out on not having their home floor the second half of the basketball season for the boys, and the girls had to have senior night in the elementary gym so it just wasn’t normal for them. I felt the worst for them because they didn’t get to finish their career here, but I just want to say thanks to those kids for their understanding.”
He also gave a thank you to the Plymouth High School staff who gave the Triton boys basketball team the use of their gym during the last scheduled home games of their season.
“It’s great to have good neighbors and especially in this time where we’re fighting against each other — we’re fighting for kids because our funding is based on that so people are sending buses into each other’s districts and we’re trying to fight each other to get those kids so that we can survive financially. But here was an opportunity where we had a neighbor that was willing to step up and say ‘You know what? We’re going to be your friend this time around and help you out.’ Just kudos to them and all that they did for us.”
For those who wish to purchase a piece of history, pieces of the old Trojan Trench floor can be purchased either by calling Triton High School, requesting a form from McIntyre directly or via the athletic department’s Facebook page. For $25, money that will go back to the school’s athletic fund, buyers will receive a plaque with an 8×10 photo of the old gym with a piece of floor fixed beneath it. Orders must be made by May 4.
With the Trojan Trench now complete, Triton High School is undergoing another big construction project, which broke ground around the same time work had finished on the new gym floor.
Construction on a new auxiliary gym at the high school — a project long discussed — is now officially underway. The new gym will include three full length basketball courts — one game court and two practice floors running perpendicularly, separated by a curtain during game time, as well as a new practice room for the Triton wrestling team.
“Probably about two years ago we started having community meetings and just talking about the idea of doing it, and everybody was really supportive of the idea. So we said hey, let’s get some designs together, get some costs together and see what it’s going to be,” recounted McIntyre.
“There’s three full courts in it. There’ll be one that’s a competition floor, and that’s the one that has the bleachers sitting next to it. Then there will be two practice courts that run the opposite direction, and there’ll be a curtain that drops down between the two so that we can separate — if we have a game going on we can also have practices going on at the same time. Then at the back of that is a boys and girls locker room, and behind that is a new wrestling facility. So we’re going to have a new wrestling practice space, which is going to be awesome for those guys.”
With Triton’s wrestling team out of its current practice space, the high school will shuffle its training room over into that area. And the new gym will allow the school corporation much greater flexibility in scheduling practices and games for lower level sports teams.
“All of our lower level kids will not have late practices any longer, which is going to be an awesome thing for them, especially for their parents that have to drive them back and forth. High school kids, most of them drive or have a buddy that can pick them up so it’s not such a big deal, but for our elementary and junior high kids, that’s a struggle,” said McIntyre. “Now all of our elementary games — fifth and sixth — will be held at the elementary school. Our junior high will move out of the elementary school, and they’ll do everything at the auxiliary gym. They’ll actually have a space of their own now, which will be really nice for them. They’ve never had that; they’ve always had to share with the elementary kids.”
The auxiliary gym is scheduled to be completed next spring. Alongside that ambitious project, THS is having its roof completely replaced, and there’s a plan to replace the boilers and chillers in the elementary scheduled for the summer also. There’s still a lot to do, but McIntyre is excited for the future.
“All of that is kind of tied together so we do have some things going on that are going to kind of create a few headaches, but it’ll be well worth it in the end,” he said.