July 20, 2015 • Athletic AdministrationBasketballFootball

Florida school aesthetically improves facilities

When your school is more than 50 years old, an occasional upgrade here and there is a necessity.

PressBox2That was the motivation behind recent improvements made at Boone High School (Orlando, Florida). Last year, Athletic Director Doug Patterson worked with BigSigns.com to hang stadium windscreens and protective wall pads inside the gymnasium, providing a fresh look for student-athletes and spectators.

The changes were simple but had an overwhelming impact on the atmosphere at games.

“People love them,” said Patterson, who has been at the school for 12 years. “We’re also looking into baseball, softball and some more stuff we can do in the gymnasium. We’re an old school, built in 1952, so anything we do with a company like Big Signs is going to dress it up and make our facilities look that much nicer.”

Boone High School competes in Florida’s largest class, recently having a high level of success with its volleyball, boys basketball and girls basketball teams, Patterson said. Programs that compete against the state’s biggest schools often have some of its best facilities, but Patterson admitted that the stadium and gymnasium are in need of improvements. He hopes there will be more significant renovations in the coming years.

For now, the signs and images that have been added to the school over the last year have done wonders for its appearance. Patterson said on the home side of the stadium, a large banner was hung beneath the press box, and a windscreen was added to a six-foot fence that was previously covered in sponsorship banners. The windscreen reads “Brave Country,” a nod to the school’s nickname.

In the gymnasium, Patterson said new wall pads were put up behind the baskets, replacing the “faded and torn up” pads that had been there before. There’s also a space referred to as the “crow’s nest” where photographers are stationed during games, and that area was dressed up with graphics.

Patterson said he’s working with BigSigns.com on placing another windscreen on the visitor’s side of the stadium, and he also plans to address a storage area that could use some aesthetic improvements.

“We also did a project in our locker room,” Patterson said. “We sent them some pictures and they did a deal where they put something on our walls with the players and their names.”

Boone High School didn’t encounter any of the headaches that most schools might deal with when making improvements to their athletic facilities. Money was available through the budget, and with a little help from the booster club funding came through without any hiccups.

The design and installation phases were also seamless.

“We sent them the logos that we use along with a couple of our slogans,” Patterson said. “We just told them to get creative with it and they did a good job. We passed along some ideas and just went from there.”

Very few athletic directors would mind having multi-million dollar video boards or brand new turf fields, but those improvements are not always necessary to add some excitement to the sports program. Sometimes all it takes is a few minor changes that show how much interscholastic athletics are valued.

“Anything you can do to enhance the look of your facilities is going to go a long way,” Patterson said. “The community enjoys the better look too, because obviously it makes it look much more professional. This project was very helpful in doing that.”

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