Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tiny gym leaves team always the visitors



[IMAGE] Sam Moore, an eighth-grader at the Bloom middle school, in the gym, which is half regulation size.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
Samuel Moore has never played a basketball game on his home court.

The 14-year-old from the West End is a star guard for his team at Lafayette Bloom Back on Track Accelerated Middle School. The team uses the gymnasium at Hays/Porter/Washburn Elementary, also in the West End, because the gym at Bloom is only half regulation size.

Bloom, which relies on original steam radiators, was built in 1915. Though preservationists praise the school as a virtually unaltered example of Second Renaissance Revival architecture, students like Moore pine for a gym to play home games.

But there's hardly room for drills, let alone bleachers.

FACT
Twenty-eight schools have no outdoor playing fields and/or have gymnasiums that are undersized or unsuitable for competitive athletics.
Bloom's basketball players say students and staff would have more school spirit if their fans could support them at school. But few fans see Moore's average of 21 points and 10 assists per game.

Moore, an eighth-grader, says he was intimidated the first time he faced off against rival Clark Montessori. The Hyde Park school had bleachers, a booming sound system and a room full of fans.

"Compared to them, our school looks poor," Moore says. "When people come from other schools, we feel stupid. We should get the same stuff they got."

Jennifer Mrozowski




SPECIAL REPORT: CINCINNATI SCHOOLS
Erratic budgets let schools deteriorate
School built in 1876 near the end of its life
Tiny gym leaves team always the visitors
Old electrical systems stretched to capacity
Cramped quarters, crowded buildings
Wanted: a little grass, more room to play
Parents worry about lead paint in schools
History of inconsistency

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Obituary: Austin M. Wright, 80, writer, teacher
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
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BRONSON: FOP quits
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
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Time ripe for ammonia theft
Going Bananas
Levy would maintain buildings
Fernald to hold last tour for public
County seeks to preserve rare bridge

OHIO
Ohio executes inmate 18 years after slaying
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
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Bob Woodward, 2 politicos to lecture at NKU this fall
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Police: Ex-boyfriend shot to death high school senior, self
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Kentucky obituaries
Nunn wants to 'move on'
Police: 3 men shot to death, dumped in Kentucky River