Journalism / New Haven Register

Athletic facility closer to reality

By Rachael Scarborough King Register Staff
June 23, 2008

GUILFORD — Work is moving forward on plans to turn an old portable classroom at Guilford High School into an athletic training facility.

The Board of Education recently gave a group of parents working on the project permission to go ahead with plans to apply for town permits for the construction. And the various school parties involved have come to an agreement about how everyone will be accommodated.

The school’s theater arts department currently uses the building, which sits near the football field, for prop and costume storage. Custodial and maintenance workers also use it as an office space and for storage.

Clifford Gurnham, the district’s director of operations, told the Board of Education at its last regular meeting that work to turn the outbuilding into a weight room will involve two stages. In the first stage, the current uses of the structure will move into the existing weight room – underneath the gymnasium in the main high school building – or into a to-be-purchased outdoor shed.

In the second phase, the district will add new lockers in a hallway behind the auditorium for the theater arts supplies and another shed will accommodate the maintenance and custodial workers. The wrestling team will then gain the use of the current weight room.

Fred Trotta, a father involved with the effort to build the new facility, said that the group will now apply for town permits for the project. It has already done some work clearing out the building.

Several Guilford businesses, including A&W Sanitation and Pasquariello Electric Corporation, are donating services, and Trotta estimated that the total value of the work and equipment will be more than $100,000. Guilford’s volunteer fire department has also agreed to donate some used weightlifting equipment, Trotta said.

Trotta said the current weight room has problems including poor ventilation and lack of space. The idea to transform the outbuilding into a new training facility was proposed by another parent, Ken Horton, he said.

“It wasn’t being used well,” Trotta said. “With a little creativity and everyone coming together … by the time it’s done, we’re going to have a great facility.”

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