Vallee Foundation makes new BHS gym floor possible

The Vallee Foundation donated $200,000 to the Blanchester Local School District to help offset the cost of replacing the deteriorating gym floor in the high school building.

A plaque to honor the Vallee Foundation will be unveiled Tuesday night prior to the high school varsity boys basketball game with Williamsburg.

“Without this generous donation, none of this would be possible,” Blanchester Supt. Randy Dunlap said. “Blanchester Local Schools are so thankful that the foundation reached out to us offering to assist the school and the community.”

The plaque, which will be on display in the BHS gym, reads:

“Dr Richard and Shirley Vallee were married for 58 years. Both lifelong citizens of Blanchester, they were active members of the community and sought to leave a legacy for this village that they loved dearly. The Richard and Shirley Vallee Foundation mission is to strengthen Blanchester, Ohio, and to improve the lives of its citizens through project-funding. The Fund hopes to serve the Blanchester community through transformative ideas and creative programs that lift the community and provide services for those in need. Vallee Fund projects lay the groundwork for systematic changes that utilize local strategies, visionary leadership, and collaborative partnerships.”

Originally, the school district was preparing to repair the gym floor, which had several damaged boards held together by duct tape “to keep them in place and prevent them from popping up during competition,” Dunlap said. “Apparently this was not the first time that such repairs were needed on the floor.”

Dunlap said the cost of this repair was in the neighborhood of $60,000. This is the original floor and opened with the building for the 2002-03 school year.

“Someone in the community took notice of the situation and approached us about a potential donation to replace the existing floor with a new one,” Dunlap said. “(Athletic director Brad Ballinger) and I were asked to gather information about the cost of a new floor. We asked the company (Cincinnati Floor) that had put this floor in and who were slated to make the repairs to provide us with an estimate.”

Cincinnati Floor submitted an estimate of approximately $260,000, said Dunlap, for a new floor. Upon informing the citizen about the total cost, Dunlap was told a donation of $200,000 would be made for the new floor.

”That donation combined with the costs we had already budgeted for repairs to the existing floor would cover the estimate from Cincinnati Floor,” said Dunlap.

The Vallee Foundation donation allowed Blanchester schools to put in a new floor, rather than perform makeshift repairs on an annual basis.

”Without their financial assistance, we would have continued to simply conduct ongoing repairs at a cost similar to the initial $60 (thousand) in order to keep a decaying floor in a position to be used for competition,” said Dunlap. “Simply permitting it to go without repairs would have been unacceptable and could have produced a dangerous situation for our athletes, visiting athletes, and others in the community who utilize our gym. However, our current financial situation did not permit us to invest the sum of dollars necessary to completely replace the floor without creating hardship in other areas of the district.”

Ongoing repairs as Blanchester Local Schools had a new gym floor put in at the high school.

Photos courtesy of Blanchester H.S. Athletic Dept.

The new Blanchester High School gym floor.

Photos courtesy of Blanchester H.S. Athletic Dept.