Gilmer High School
Nestled in the foothills of the north Georgia Mountains in Ellijay, GA is Gilmer High School, home of the Bobcats. GHS is a AAAA public high school with an abundance of community support since many students are 2nd and 3rd generation.
In 1993, Gilmer County residents voted to approve funding for a project to build a new gymnasium to be modeled after Philips Arena with 52’ high ceilings and hold up to 2,300 spectators in bleacher style seating. It was designed to be a multi-use facility with portable goals that would enable maximum use of the gym floor since the new high school gym was also to be shared with the county parks and recreation department. H.E. Hodge Company was one of the original suppliers of gymnasium equipment on this project by providing and installing 6 portable basketball goals as well as the bleachers on both sides of the gym.
Fast forward eleven years and eleven classes of students have graduated as well as many successful seasons of boys and girls sports including basketball, wrestling, and volleyball are all in the history books. This means over the years tens of thousands of students, parents and fans have walked through the doors of the Gilmer High School gymnasium to cheer on the Bobcats and participate in parks and recreation activities and camps. With all this traffic through the gym the amount of maintenance and logistical support needed to convert quickly from one activity to the next and keep the gymnasium in peak condition had become an issue.
Gilmer County Charter School System staff member Erick Hofstetter shared that one big challenge they faced was the gymnasium ceilings, while stunning to look at, are beyond the normal height for installing retractable goals. So, this summer they were faced with finding a company that was willing to install retractable goals on a ceiling nearly 20 feet higher than a standard gymnasium ceiling. By installing retractable basketball goals, the gym could be converted very quickly and with less wear and tear on the gym floor. They were turned down by two firms who said it could not be done.
Ingenuity in Action
However, when Jeff Hodge from H.E. Hodge Company reviewed the project he saw possibilities and was willing to solve the structural issues and deliver a reliable solution. This involved finding an engineering firm that was willing to analyze the added weight requirements and retrofit the ceiling structure to accommodate the extra length of the goals. Once this hurdle was cleared, the goals were manufactured and installed and H.E. Hodge Company oversaw this whole process
H.E. Hodge Company brought in special lifts that could reach the height of the ceiling in order to properly install the massive goals as pictured above. Last summer six retractable goals were successfully installed on 52’ high ceilings in a gymnasium built in 1993 and it is now is ready to serve the community for many more years.
All of us here at H.E. Hodge Company wish all the Bobcats well in their upcoming basketball seasons and we hope you score lots of points with these new goals!