Middle school gets gift from Eagle Scout hopeful
Shepherdstown Middle School is the recipient of a new basketball court just outside near the football field. The court, the brainchild of Juluan Plaza, a Boy Scout with Troop 25 from Martinsburg, will complete the project within the next few weeks.
The groundbreaking for the court and excavation work took place on Saturday, Sept. 10 when Plaza was joined by several other scouts who are working with him, as well as friends and neighbors enlisted for some of the professional work.
Plaza, who still has two merit badges and his project to complete before sitting for his Eagle Scout Board of Review, shared that he came up with the idea of the basketball court because the school needed an outdoor activity for the students.
Plaza is an alumni of the middle school and said that when he was there, students were allowed to go outside after they finished lunch.
“There was not really anything to do,” Plaza said. “Basketball was always a passion to me so I wanted to do this for the community and the school.”
Plaza shared that the project has not been an easy one. He has had to develop and plan the court from start to finish. Once planned, he had to receive approval from the Shenandoah Area Council who oversees Eagle projects. From there he solicited donations of materials, help and money.
Eric Stenger is Plaza’s Eagle Scout Project troop guide. Jim Schmidt has been supporting Plaza through the project management and was on hand Saturday to help with excavating the site. Sam Buckler also helped with the excavating. Troop 25 and Plaze had staked and measured the court on Sept. 5 to prepare for Saturday’s ground work. Supplies to do so were donated by 84 Lumber.
Schmidt and Buckler donated their time, equipment and expertise to excavate the site. The gravel has been donated by Inwood Quarry and Millville Quarry. Transportation of gravel from the quarries to Shepherdstown Middle was done by Mike Boyd and Jamie Brady, both bus drivers for Jefferson County. Boyd drives Plaza’s bus and Boyd joined in to help haul the gravel.
Jefferson Asphalt has donated all of the asphalt for the project which will be transported and laid by donation from Pittsnogle Paving. Hoops were purchased through donations made by Scout Master John Collins, BSA Aquatic’s Director Breann Marie, Jackie Lewis at Greentree Realty and Scouting Mentor Bob Kutcher.
Reconditioning of the hoops will be complete by Plaza and Shepherdstown Middle’s Shop Teacher Will Clever.
The project should be complete by the end of September, along with his last two merit badges. Hopefully his review will be complete by the end of October.
Plaza shared that an official dedication ceremony will be planned after completion of his review.
Plaza is a senior at Jefferson High School where he has played basketball and anticipates playing again this year. He said that so far, he does not have concrete plans for the future but also anticipates playing ball at whatever college he attends.