Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School (PF) recently unveiled an illuminated scoring table in their gymnasium.
But it's more than just a colourful sign, says Curtis Columbus, who teaches the basketball leadership course at PF.
“When you go into other gyms, most of them have these illuminated score tables and it really is quite nice, it brings up the atmosphere in the gym,” Columbus said.
“I really wanted one in our gym," he aded. "Our students are really invested in basketball, our teams are starting to excel in the sport so it was just another piece to give them some motivation to keep going.”
For PF it is not just a showpiece, it is an essential learning tool for their new basketball leadership course.
“A part of the basketball leadership course is teaching the students how to do time keeping during our basketball games which is a difficult task and requires four students at a time,” Columbus explained.
PF is the last high school in Orillia to add an illuminated score table and the biggest obstacle was funding.
“The cost of a table like this is far greater than we could afford as a school," said Columbus, noting it would take a long time to fundraise for such a table. "So last year, I presented the idea to (Brett) Carron, who teaches the specialist high skills majors construction technology class,” Columbus said.
Brett Carron and 15 students from the construction technology program pulled up their sleeves and got to work on the project.
“I always think it’s important to have projects where the end product is something that the kids can use to show off their work and have it be a part of the school community, so this was a great idea,” Carron said.
Carron has a background in cabinetry, so he and his students had to learn on the fly with the unique project that featured lighting, graphic design, and padding. The project took close to a year to be completed.
“His class did an unbelievable job building the table and getting it set. The students just took it on and they were so proud of themselves,” Columbus said.
When it came to the most flattering part of the table, the plastic sign on the front that reads ‘Home of The Flames, and displays the Patrick Fogarty Flames logo, the school had to turn to a custom signage company for help.
Elaine Munro, who works in the vinyl department at Pattison Sign Group, says it was a no brainer to help PF. She said it was her way of repaying Carron’s construction technology class for their help with her local church.
“My church, St. David Anglican, had a problem a few years ago," she explained. "We have something called the warming cross which is an initiative from the church where we put the cross in the community garden and we put hats, mitts, gloves, scarves, things that are knitted by the congregation and anybody who needed some warm hats or mitts could just come and take them."
When vadals struck, PF came to the rescue.
“Someone vandalized the cross and broke it, so the students at Patrick Fogarty in the shop class built us a new cross and came and installed it for us and they did a super job," said Munro.
Columbus says that Munro and Pattison Sign Group’s contribution was crucial to the project.
“They donated their time, some equipment, their knowledge, it was unbelievable to have that connection," said Columbus. "It was so generous on their part and I can’t express enough as to how fortunate we are to have Pattison Sign Group step up and help us out like they did.”
PF will use the sign for more than just basketball games. Columbus says it is a multi-sport table and they even showcased it during a recent Grade 8 information night.
Recently, the Flames junior boys triumphed over St. Joseph’s, 61-46. But after the game, the players, coaches, fans, and parents seemed more interested in talking about the debut of the new score table. It was a satisfying moment for Carron and his students.
“It was really nice that they were able to take a sense of pride in that. They will come back to the school years from now and go 'Yep, I built that,'” Columbus said.