A high school in Minnesota may have sold its old gymnasium floor to Justin Vernon, frontman for the indie rock band Bon Iver, for $200 on Craigslist. (Vernon laid it down in a home studio he converted from an indoor pool.) But when the Augusta (Ky.) High School gymnasium floor was replaced in July, administrators salvaged one-foot-long wood pieces and stored them with the intent to sell them for a much greater profit.
During the past few weeks, Augusta Schools has sold more than 250 of those pieces at $5 a pop to students, parents, alumni and anyone else who wanted a piece of school history that dates back to 1973. The souvenir sale so far has generated more than $1,250 for the school's athletic department. Each cut section of board has an authentication mark on the back, and calligraphy or wood burning can be used to put two lines of text on the face of each board.
"One woman, whose mother went to Augusta, had me put 'My mommy played basketball on this board' and her jersey number," Phyllis Reed, the district's program director, told The Ledger Independent of Maysville. "They have been really popular. Usually we have sold five or six at a time, rarely just one."
Other boards from the floor have been pre-marked with phrases that can be completed, such as "Class of _______." Each piece of board has its own character, and "if there was still a nail in it, we pried it out and glued it to the board," Reed said. She told Athletic Business that all proceeds will be used to purchase new uniforms and sports equipment, as well as help defray team transportation costs.
Approximately 300 boards remain (order forms are available on the AIS website), meaning the school's athletic department could net almost $3,000 from the fundraiser.
Meanwhile, Augusta High's floor logo is being restored to go on display on a wall of the school's main lobby. A few years ago, an alcove in the Hall of Fame room of Wartburg College's Waverly Community Wellness Center was designed around a reuse of the center logo from the college's displaced competition gymnasium floor.