Houlka has a reputation for basketball and now has an improved and renovated facility in which to play the game.
The Chickasaw County Board of Education approved the renovation project about a year ago and school administration are ready to unveil the finished product.
A ceremony will be held Nov. 9, beginning at 5 p.m., for the public to view the newly renovated facility and will include several basketball-related activities.
“On the inside we redid the insulation in the ceiling and replaced some of the metal panels behind the bleachers,” said Superintendent Dr. Betsy Collums. “They repainted and gutted the existing lobby, moved the concession stand to where the girl’s bathrooms were and added new bathrooms for men and women. It’s a big, open lobby now.”
The $300,000 project was approved with $78,000 coming from federal funds available for renovations and $222,000 from district funds.
Collums said the gymnasium is used not only for school basketball games, but also serves as a multi-purpose facility for the school and community events and was due renovation work.
“It is used for P.E. classes and pageants and especially graduation,” said Collums. “The gym has been used for like 40 years.”
Back to the hardcourt
The event will begin with a short ceremony and will introduce the 2013-14 Wildcat basketball teams. Following “Meet the Wildcats,” an alumni game will be held with all former players invited to participate.
“We’d love for our older alumni to come, former coaches and administrators,” Collums said.
Linda Harmon, former player and current teacher in the district, said she’s on board for the game. Harmon was a member of the 1975 Grand Slam Championship team and still remembers coming home from Jackson with the big, gold ball.
“The line of cars following the bus from Jackson to Houlka,” is still her favorite memory, Harmon said. “My passion is Houlka Wildcat basketball.”
Al-Jammi Davis of the Class of 2005 said he counts among his favorite basketball memories playing on the same team with his brother, Joey Davis, and plans to return to play in the alumni game.
“It is important because the school and athletic programs need the support from the alumni and community to compete with the rest of the programs in our district,” Davis said.
Various shooting contests will follow the alumni game and organizers are hoping for a large turnout for the event.
“We want it to be kind of like a mini-homecoming,” Collums said.
For more information on the event or alumni game, call 568-3333.