The Gym: A Center for Fun and Fellowship
With all the recreation opportunities available at Caswell, perhaps no other place is more central and critical than the gymnasium. Year after year, students rush to the gym during free time for friendly competition and the socialization that comes with it in this truly unique space. Built in 1943 by the US Navy, Caswell's Gym has seen quite a few basketball games in its time. For our summer staff, this building is home to staff games, orientation activities, and many of the most memorable worship experiences each summer. Truly, the gym is a special place and one that holds lasting significance to almost everyone who passes through Caswell's gate.
Legacy of Generosity: Mr. Albert Farmer
Like all facilities, especially ones with heavy use by youth, the gym requires routine maintenance toavoid quickly falling into disrepair. For over 25 years, Mr. Albert Farmer has generously donated his time and expertise in wood floor refinishing to keep the gym floors, and many other wood floors and staircases on our campus, in their very best shape. Looking back on all of his service at Caswell, it's hard to imagine how we could have kept up with this vital work without him and the teams of volunteers he brought with him, many from Bible Missionary Baptist Church, where he is a member.
Recently, Mr. Farmer has retired from the business he founded, Floor Action Inc, and passed the responsibilities of operation on to his son-in-law. Now that he's moved into a well-earned retirement, it's time for the rest of us to pick up where Mr. Farmer left-off, and carry forward his legacy of service.
The Task at Hand: Gymnasium Renovation Project
The most pressing concern facing the gym at the moment is the need to replace the wood floor.
"The problem we have is that the old floor has been sanded and refinished so many times that the nail heads can't hold the boards down in some places," said Fort Caswell's Facility Director, John Aldridge, "Mr. Farmer's recommendation is to remove the parts of the floor that are too badly damaged and install a new floor over the rest. He says that will give the new installation more long-term stability."
The floor isn't the only thing we hope to improve, when asked what else was in store for the Gym, John had this to say,
"We hope to make some general touch-ups to the balcony seating area and the front lobby, remove the bathroom's hot water heater in favor of a more efficient wall pack system, make the switch to LED lighting throughout, and provide a fresh coat of paint to walls and other surfaces that will brighten up the room even more."
For this to happen, we need your help. You can make donations to the Gymnasium Renovation Project by calling us directly and speaking with Jayne Rores to make a credit card payment, or by mailing us a check made out to Fort Caswell with a memo line that reads "Gymnasium Renovation Project." (100 Caswell Beach Rd. Oak Island, NC 28465)
We are very excited to share that, once installed, the new floor will be named "The Albert Farmer Court" in honor of Mr. Farmer's decades of service to Caswell's staff and guests.
We are also excited to announce that for those who make a contribution of $1,000 or more, we will gift a limited number of plaques commemorating your participation in the the project that are made from pieces of the original floor itself! Rather than throwingthis flooring away, we felt it more appropriate to share it as a small thank you to those who made a major commitment to seeing the job through.
We thank you all for taking the time to read this and consider how you might be a part of ensuring the gym's continued place in the story of lives touched by their experiences at Caswell.