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Community pitches in to beautify Lahainaluna gym

By Staff | Aug 25, 2016

The revamped gym features state title banners on the far wall.

LAHAINA – The torch of excellence in quality education continues to move forward at Lahainaluna High School with the recent enhancement of the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on the historic West Side campus.

The last two weeks of July saw a beehive of activity at the facility to clean and paint the gym in the bright red and white Luna color scheme.

The project, inspired and carried through by the Westside Hoops organization directed by Dan Williams, thus joins the ever-rising Red Tide of improvements to the country’s oldest public high school west of the Rocky Mountains.

Over recent decades, the Lahainaluna ‘ohana has carried the torch of excellence in the educational experience forward with a new library, science building, cafeteria, locker room, weight training/athletic trainer’s facility, athletic director and coaches conference room, softball field with lights, and multi-sport stadium.

The recent painting project joined last year’s state-of-the-art cooling fans for the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium and coincides with a new practice field for the Luna baseball program currently under construction.

“We’re really excited about these improvement projects for the school,” said pumped up LHS Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch last week.

“And, we are ever grateful to everyone and every organization that has contributed to the effort, especially people like (former principal) Michael Nakano, who seemed to always find funding for many of these campus improvements.”

Westside Hoops Assistant Director Genevieve Ruvald led the gym painting project.

“The inspiration for this project came as a result of the hours spent up in the gym envisioning a clean, bright and exciting place to play for the kids. It was an enormous project – one that took a life of its own as it went along – but staying the course, the contractors and painters who went up into the rafters every day to complete the project made it all worthwhile,” said Ruvald.

She credited the Lady Luna volleyball team and the boys basketball team for cleanup and prep work done for the project.

Coach Gen – the Lahainaluna track and field and boys basketball assistant coach, along with her work with Westside Hoops and an avid canoe paddler (she is a member of Kahana Canoe Club’s Women’s Novice A state championship crew for the 2016 season) – recognized the stalwart lineup that contributed to the completion of the project.

“Donors that came through for the project included Wash It Maui, West Maui Motors, Island Lock & Safe, Da Kine Paints, Service Rentals Lahaina, Lanny Tihada, Start Me Up, and an anonymous painting company here on the West Side,” said Ruvald.

Immediately upon entering the gym, you are taken by the brightness of the cozy facility and also the seven new state championship banners for girls and boys wrestling, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys tennis, and canoe paddling.

Athletic Director Soldwisch added, “Kim Ball got the ball rolling to get the new banners, and Jon Conrad (athletic trainer and assistant athletic director), Mark Tillman and the Lahainaluna High School Foundation all had a hand in getting this project done.”

“This turned out fantastic! This is so typical of how things happen here. The call goes out; people come forward out of the woodworks to help. Everybody pitches in here in Lahaina, especially for Lahainaluna High School. Everyone is in for the right reasons to do good for the kids and the school. We had a great, positive response from the student body and faculty at our first assembly of the new school year in the gym, and we’re planning a thank you night for September 1 at our first girls volleyball game.”

“Yes, we will recognize all of the donors at our first girls volleyball home game in our beautiful gym on September 1. State championship banners have been updated and raised, and the pride of Lahainaluna is palpable the moment you walk into Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium. This community is like no other, and as much as it blesses the kids, we hope it will bless the community as well when they come up to the gym. Imua Lunas,” concluded Ruvald.