Students and staff of Morehead City Middle School will start 2020 with a new gym floor thanks to a grant from the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Charitable Giving Foundation and private donations. The Big Rock joined MCMS on January 9th during a home basketball game to celebrate the completion of their new gym floor & to recognize donors for their contributions to the project.

The total cost of the floor is $90,000. MCMS raised $36,000 through private donations & the Big Rock matched their amount with a $54,000 grant. “We are extremely grateful to the Big Rock as well as all of our private donors for helping our students and community to have a much-needed update to our facility that is safe and comparable to other gyms in our county,” MCMS Principal Adam Olander said Saturday.

The school is also hoping to raise an additional $30,000 for new paint in the gym, updated lighting, new baseline wall mats, a new scorers table and added chairs for more seating. Mr. Olander said the old gym floor was made of a concrete tile substance that had been in place for more than 20 years.

Mr. Olander said the school has included the gym project in previous county capital requests, but it remained unfunded. This inspired him to apply for a Big Rock grant and begin a fundraising effort. He pointed out that the gym “is the centerpiece of the entire school,” and is used daily by students. It’s used for athletic events, band concerts, awards ceremonies and community events.

“We’ve spent the last 3 weeks doing school tours of every school in our county. Without fail, it seems that the Big Rock has had a hand in some kind of project in every school we have visited” explained Clark Jenkins, Carteret County Board of Education Vice Chair. “I personally had no idea how much of an investment The Big Rock has put into our schools and I would like to thank you and your board of directors from the bottom of my heart. What the Big Rock does makes a huge difference for our kids.”

(Information provided by Carteret County News-Times article.)