Buy a piece of the Big Gym

Will Zhou, Author

After the demolition of the Palo Alto High School Big Gym on Sept 2., pieces of the historic building are now for sale in a fundraiser hosted by Sports Boosters.

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After months of delay, construction finally began on the Paly Big Gym, starting with its demolition earlier this year on Sept 2. Photo by Cooper Lou.

With 86 years of history, the big gym holds many memories for students and alumni.

“The gym has a special place in the hearts of many [people],” Sports Boosters co-president Melissa Anderson said. “Especially [for] folks who played sports in the gym, or met their spouses at a dance in the gym or who have a love of Paly and their time in high school. Many want a piece of the floor for nostalgia sake.”

The idea of selling the floorboards was inspired by a similar fundraiser done during the remodeling of Stanford’s Maples Pavilion, according to Sports Boosters co-president Melissa Anderson.

The money raised from the floorboard sales will help support Paly sports teams.

We're modeling them after the Stanford Maples Pavilion floorboards that were done a few years ago.
The Big Gym floorboards will be modeled after the Stanford Maples Pavilion floorboards that were done a few years ago, according to Anderson. Photo by Melissa Anderson.

“It’ll go into the Paly Sports Boosters general fund,” Anderson said. “We raise all the money needed for Paly Athletics to field 45 teams involving over 850 Paly student-athletes. The school district pays for the coaches stipends and Paly Sports Boosters pays for everything else – uniforms, transportation, officials, league fees, etc. We raise over $250,000 annually.”

Below are the various purchasing options according to Anderson.

6 in. x 6 in. square for: $85

12  in. x 12  in. square for: $120

Shipping: $20

Pick-up: $0

While many students have fond memories of the Big Gym, some are unsure about the value of purchasing floorboards.

“I miss the gym [Big Gym],” senior Alan Hsu said. “I had a lot of fun with home games and practice for badminton. But if I wanted to support Paly Sports, I would just donate.”

If you’re interested in buying a floorboard, contact [email protected] soon.

“We plan to wrap up sales in early October so we can place the order with the flooring company,” Anderson said. “[But] we will likely purchase a few ‘extra’, in case someone else wants one later on. We are hoping to deliver the floorboards at the beginning of November.