Guido: Local venues score needed facelifts
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While the focus at this time of year is outdoor sports such as baseball and soccer and preparation for football season, indoor work is continuing on two venerable facilities dating to the 1960s.
Burrell High School's gym, built in 1964, is getting a facelift.
Moret Construction is in charge of ongoing work to make cosmetic improvements such as painting in gym floor, walls and the ceiling.
New banking boards will be installed, and electrical work will be done.
Most of important of all, a new sound system will be installed.
Since the facility opened during the 1964-65 school year when Burrell consisted of only juniors and sophomores, the terrible acoustics have been a trademark of the gym.
Some improvement was done several years back when square pads were installed on the walls to absorb some of the din.
It was hard to carry on a conversation with a person in the next row of bleachers because of the acoustical problems, and coaches have always had a tough time communicating with athletes during a game.
When Hall of Fame basketball coach Tom Myers took over the Burrell job in the 2005-06 season, after the first home game he commented how he had forgotten how hard it was to holler instructions.
When legendary coach Hank Kuzma brought his Plum teams to Burrell in the late 1970s, he would use flash cards from the bench to call plays.
The school district is spending $156,000 on the improvements.
The Alle-Kiski Valley's oldest hockey arena, Belmont Complex in East Franklin Township, is getting $1.38 million of work this summer.
The facility, built in 1967 and owned by Armstrong County, is getting work done on its aging locker rooms and the front entrance is being renovated.
Various contractors are removing existing tile and flooring, while plumbing and electrical work is also on the roster of improvements.
Armstrong County commissioner David Battaglia said 75 percent of the funding is from state and federal grants.
Something else vital to the hockey operation at Belmont was also fixed during the summer: the Zamboni.
The 16-year-old vehicle has had problems, including fluid leakage and mechanical problems that caused about a 30-minute delay to last season's PIHL game between Freeport and Mars.
Two students from Lenape Technical School did the mechanical work and received classroom credits for their efforts.
Officials said the students repaired the oil leakage, replaced the ice conditioner and its loose springs, replaced the fuel hose and tuned up the engine.
The county bought the repair materials for around $2,000 and the students doing the repairs saved the county at least $4,000.
The Belmont is used for home games involving Freeport, the new Armstrong merger between Ford City and Kittanning, along with the newly reborn Highlands hockey team.
Cheering orange and blue
Speaking of the new Armstrong high school hockey team, it was announced the squad will be wearing orange and blue uniforms this winter, the color scheme of the still-unnamed high school due to be completed in 2015.
It will be the first time a local scholastic sports team will wear orange and blue uniforms since Arnold High School played its final baseball game in May 1967.
The new Armstrong duds will be a brighter orange and blue combo, similar to the University of Florida.
In Arnold's era, the Lions wore more of a burnt orange and darker blue.
The new Armstrong school will be the only one in Western Pennsylvania to sport orange and blue.
In fact, Hershey High School might be the closest place where orange and blue is worn.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers accomplish mission to get younger, faster on defense
- High school football notebook: WPNT to televise games this season
- Officials stop packages with ‘inappropriate’ material intended for Murrysville girls
- Previewing the NFL’s American Football Conference
- Name of game is content for in-game experience at NFL stadiums
- NFL going back to the future with Los Angeles
- Previewing the NFL’s National Football Conference
- Hacker stuns Dayton family with computer takeover
- 4-year-old transplant recipient Angelo Giorno from Derry on life support, family says
- Steelers reporter Mark Kaboly’s NFL playoff picks
- Through all gimmicks, NFL remains downfield passer league