Craftsbury Academy's New Gym is a Total Community Effort

The construction of the new gymnasium at Craftsbury Academy has been a team effort between the school and members of the community.Thirty-eight landowners donated approximately 180 trees, including 8,860 feet of Sugar Maple for the main floor and 2,860 of Yellow Birch for the out of bounds area, towards the construction of the new gym.Tom Lathrop of Vermont Specialty Wood Products from Bristol, VT, manufactured the wood for the school at a huge savings (aprox. $35,000.00). Don Blake from Morrisville donated all the nails, and Menard’s Agway donated flooring nailers. "We laid the floor with over 60 volunteers (ages 31 to 87) in 3 and half days, a little over 6,400 sq. ft. at 2 inches at a time with 60,000 nails," said Harry Miller, one of the lead men on the project.Students took approximately 495 photographs, roughly 5 minutes apart, over 3 1/2 days and are working to create a piece of time lapse photography that will be available on Youtube and Facebook. The observation deck has been floored with the center-court area from the old gym. The wood is from 1947. The gym has a monitor style roof, allowing natural daylight which is saving energy every day. "The new facility will be heated with wood pellets and our state of the art close-coupled gasifier that heats our entire campus, no petroleum," said Miller. Total cost of gym project stands at 1.6 million.The floor auction back in March raised $5,400.00, which will pay for sanding, lines and finishing of the new floor."Everyone wants to know how much we saved by doing the floors ourselves and my answer is that it is priceless," Miller said with enthusiasm. "In actuality, the savings is about $50,000.00, but can you really put a monetary value compared to the value of getting the community behind it?"The facility is slated to be ready by the time the 2012-2013 basketball season opens this winter.