When the 2010-11 school year began, purple and silver -- the choice to replace teal -- had officially become the school's colors. Still, it's been a long process for the 13-year Rail City school to phase out teal entirely.
Uniforms donned by SSHS athletic teams have not sported teal for a few years, but its taken school maintenance crews a couple more years to swap out teal for silver on the walls in gyms and hallways. The final touches of the makeover are just about finished as Spanish Springs officials are a week away from unveiling their new large gym floor.
As soon as Spanish Springs students finished finals testing and took off for the holidays, the school's athletic department closed the main gym and district work crews moved in start a refurbishing project.
"We painted our new logo at center court and painted over the teal areas," Spanish Springs athletic director Art Anderson said. "We wanted to paint the new logo and make it look more up to date. Then we refurbished the whole floor. That's something we like to do in the winter because it benefits our basketball programs."
Unlike most schools in the region, Spanish Springs has made a practice of resurfacing its gym floor over winter break, rather than in the summer. SSHS athletic officials believe that leaves the gym floor in the best shape for the basketball league season in January and February.
"I was the one that suggested we do it this way," Cougars boys basketball coach Kyle Penney said. "And it worked well for our volleyball coach too. He didn't like the summer resurfacing, because he wants his players to be able to dive and slide. In basketball, we don't like that as much, so this is beneficial for all of us."
Gym resurfacing carries a $6,000 price tag at Spanish Springs. Traditionally, the Washoe County School District had picked up the tab for an annual resurfacing project at its schools, but in recent years district leaders changed that to an every-other-year policy. That leaves individual schools to cover the cost of resurfacing if they chose to continue a yearly schedule.
Anderson said the SSHS athletic department picked up the tab for new paint on this year's resurfacing efforts, bringing the project's tab to nearly $11,000. He added that Spanish Springs continues to evaluate whether to resurface the gym every year or every other year.
"This has worked out well," Anderson said. "We're hosting the regional tournament this year and we wanted everything to look the best it can ... It almost looks like a brand new floor. The new logo is nearly twice the size of the old one."
WCSD crews finished the project last week, but resurfacing requirements call for a two-week drying period. The school's boys and girls basketball teams -- varsity, JV and freshmen -- as well as its wrestling program have all been practicing in its small gym during the winter break.
"We've got a lot of great coaches who work well together and people make sacrifices but it has not been easy in terms of practice scheduling and logistics ... but in a couple weeks, it will all be forgotten," Penney said.
The Spanish Springs boys and girls hoop teams were set to host Bishop Manogue in DI North crossover league contests Tuesday, but those had to be moved to Jan. 25 to accommodate the resurfacing project's drying period. Spanish Springs is planning to host HDL rival Reno on Saturday, Jan. 11. That will mark the first time teams will play on the new surface.
*The Sparks-area's other two high schools, Sparks and Reed, also take advantage of the district's gym floor refinishing program. Both Sparks and Reed closed their gyms for similar projects last summer.
"We've always done it during the summer," Sparks High athletic director Rob Kittrell said. "That maintenance is huge in keeping your school nice ... Your facilities are the first things people see. You want the first impression when people come to your school to be good. You want it to look great. In our gym, we want people to see a shiny floor and that's something we can control."