COLD BUT HAPPY … It may have been extremely cold on November 17, 2022 but that did not stop this group from turning out for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new basketball court at Storrer Park in Montpelier. Those on the left are village employees and officials with those on the right being supportive residents and donors from the Rotary and Athena Clubs. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER,STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
On a seriously cold and wintery Thursday, November 17, 2022, Montpelier Parks and Rec staff and donors gathered along with some village officials to dedicate a new basketball court at Storrer Park.
The ribbon cutting was held at 5:30 p.m., and there were around thirty people there to celebrate this newest addition to the parks system in Montpelier.
Parks President Angela Hillard read a prepared statement, saying, “On behalf of the Montpelier Park Board, I would like to extend out a huge thank you to everyone involved in the funding, planning and completion of this project! It’s a true honor to see our community come together to create a place for people of all ages to go, stay active, and create memories.”
Montpelier Village Council President Chris Kannel, who was also the architect for this project, “waxed eloquent” but quickly due to the freezing cold temperatures, saying that this was another great project of cooperation within the Montpelier community.
He thanked the Montpelier Rotary, Montpelier Civic League, Athena Study Club, Power of the Purse, CK Technologies, Friends of the Montpelier Parks, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, ThermaTru Corporation, MHS Class of 1960, and the Village of Mont Water Distribution Department.
The last group mentioned not only helped financially, but also with the installation.
Village employees were all involved in getting it done and the supplies were all purchased by the donations.
This is a brand-new court where the school used to be on Platt St., so it is bringing a court back to that area of town.
It is terraced to deal with the elevation drop and is regulation size. Parks and Rec Director Sandy Gordon explained that Rotary took the initiative about seven years ago after the village, and donations from others, made it possible to put in playground equipment.
At that time, they realized that they needed something for the older kids, too.Around 2015 they started talking about having a basketball court for them.
Ever since the school was torn down, there has been no court on the north end of town and this need has finally been met.
Gordon and Kannel both pointed out that as soon as the caution tape was taken down, the court was quickly occupied by students having a great time.
The kids have been using it constantly, even in the cold weather. “The hoops were up so they just took off even though it wasn’t lined, which happened on September 13th”, Gordon said.
She also pointed out that along with all who donated, Chris Kannel and Nate Thompson have been “a major force behind getting this project done.”
Thompson is also hoping they can somehow install the Gnome who used to be above the door of the old school, to add a bit of whimsy.
He and Jim Thompson bought it and cut it out of the building when the old school was being torn down in 2005.
It has taken a full year to get the project completed and they were all thrilled to be able to dedicate this play area. It is there hope that for many years this court will bring joy to the residents of the area.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com