The Franklin County High School has a brand new gym floor.
From May 22 to 25, workmen from Stephens, out of Atlanta, but whose owners have a house on St. George Island, did the work and the district loves it.
“it’s wonderful, it’s truly grade A,” said “Bud Strange, facilities coordinator.
For a price tag about $17,000, a nice chunk below the higher bids submitted by two Florida companies, the school board opted to go with a water-based rather than an oil-based finish, which would have cost about 10 percent more.
“We went with the water base so the white doesn’t bleed to yellow,” said Strange. “Plus the upkeep is easier because we can apply more topcoat ourselves without having to sand it.”
Strange said the workers sanded the floor down to the bare wood, stained it, redid the Seahawk logo and freshly painted the whole court.
Hoops Coach Nathan West said he is pleased that the markings under the basket will now be regulation, when players line up for free throws.
“I think the biggest thing that needed to be done is it had non regulation lines on there,” he said. “That needed to done. We got it done; we redesigned it.”
Also, West said, the floor should have better traction now. “Before it as very slippery it wasn’t maintained throughout the years like it should have,” he said. “The gym’s brighter, not as slippery.
“It’s nice to see the school taking some more pride in the gym,” he said. “The administration has been very supportive of the programs and that means a lot to the kids.
“Hopefully now we can get some players to play on it,” said West.
The young basketball coach is playing 15 games this month, including from June 3-5 in Oxford, Alabama, where the eight boys are playing five games in three days.
“This is a great area for basketball,” West said. “There are teams coming in from all over different states. And it’s highly recruited.”
Coached by West and assistant Ray Bailey, a former hoop standout at Port St. Joe, the team played Oxford High School, a 6A school, as well as Mountain Zion out of Georgia, a 3A school, and Alexandria out of Alabama, a 5A school.
The boys lost to Oxford, but then scored back-to-back wins. They then were slated to play Carrolton out Georgia, and Gadsden City out of Alabama, in a gym that seats 4,000.
“We’re playing against teams we’ll never see, and that’s a good humbling experience for them,” West said. “It gives them a chance to experience something new.
“This summer we’re playing to give guys experience, we’re putting them in tough game situations,” he said. “The best way to learn is through failure we’re putting them in situations they going to learn from.
“I want to go play some tough schools, and let the kids experience it,” said West. “We’ll just see different things.”