As Revere High School (RHS) athletes move their attention back outside for the spring sports season, they will have left a very comfortable new home in the notably revamped RHS Field House.
Long a source of embarrassment with its cavernous feel, condemned bleachers and “furry-looking” dark green ceiling, the Field House has been painstakingly renovated over the last two years – with the biggest part of the work coming last summer and last fall.
During the winter sports season, the RHS athletes got to give the space its first real test-drive.
And all conclude that the brighter, cleaner and more modern space has come through with great fanfare.
“I don’t think I can be happier about the way it came out,” said RHS Athletic Director Shaun Hart. “Everyone who comes in forgets how bad it really was because it seems like it should have always been like this.”
The most recent and noticeable renovations include taking down the “fur” on the old ceiling and repainting the top a bright white color, while the ventilation ducts got a nice Patriot blue. While a company called ATI renovated the ceiling, custodians from the schools – including a crew directed by Carl Svendson – did yeoman’s work in painting the ductwork all by hand.
“I can’t tell you how much the custodial team did,” said Hart. “They really took care of us in a big way.”
In addition to the new ceiling, all of the backboards are now modern glass basketball rims, there is a new Bose sound system, a new scoreboard, modernized locker rooms and new equipment storage areas. That went hand-in-hand with a new weight training/fitness area and new bleachers that were put in over the past two summers.
The investment has not only turned the heads of those in the district, but also those from outside as well.
“Word is getting out,” said Hart. “We’ve had calls about our space and people wanting to use it for events. We have interest for the first time in a long time from athletic officials who want us to host post-season sporting events. That’s a big thing.
“More than anything, I think it made the coaches feel like they hadn’t been forgotten,” he continued. “When you had a track meet at home in the old facility at 7 p.m., it was like going into a medieval castle – a dungeon. Everyone wants to know where the shag carpet on the ceiling went. We tell them that, unfortunately, the 1970s ended and it had to go.”
Another possibility for the renovated Field House, administrators said, is to be a back up for graduation ceremonies if the weather is too bad outside for Della Russo Stadium. Several years ago graduation had to be moved from the Field House due to the poor conditions and the condemned bleachers.