Beecher High School could get a $100,000 locker room makeover if the school receives the most online votes from the public.
Beecher High School in Mt. Morris Township, just north of Flint, is the only Michigan school in the competition by locker manufacturing company Hollman Inc. and is up against against four other schools located in North Carolina, Texas and California.
Votes can be cast on the Hollman website.
Polls close at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3.
The prize for the winning school is a $100,000 locker room makeover, according an email Hollman sent to Beecher Community Schools encouraging the school apply to the competition.
The boys and girls locker rooms at Beecher High School have not been updated in almost 40 years, as shown in the following video.
The need for locker room improvements is about the “kid’s well being and safety,” said Mike Williams, Beecher varsity boys basketball head coach.
“It’s for their safety, their security and we know it’s a huge need for us," Williams said. "We pride ourselves on being the district of champions so we don’t do a lot of complaining, we take care of what we’ve got. That’s why it’s lasted so long but we are in grave need of help.”
Lockers in both the women’s and men’s locker rooms are covered with patches of rust.
In the women’s facility, lockers are too small to fit a gym bag.
A plywood panel covers the entrance to the out-of-service showers.
There is no heat in the room, so female athletes have to use a space heater.
The showers don’t work in the men’s locker room either.
Around 80 percent of Beecher students play sports, Williams said, adding that extracurricular activities outside of the classroom are very important to the students.
“We’re not just in the field of education, we’re in the field of changing lives. A lot of these kids, if athletics aren’t a part of their life, they don’t have many options outside of going to school so it’s very important to have a safe, secure place where our children can come and be able to shower, be able to do some of the necessities that most students take for granted.”
Beecher boys basketball has won 13 district championships in a row and 11 of the last 12 regional championships, Williams said. The girls basketball team has won five state titles in the last seven years and won the district and regional championship in 2018. The football program has also been to almost every playoff in the last decade, he said.
“This would just be a step in the right direction helping our kids,” Williams said. “We don’t have all the financing everyone has, we don’t have all the bells and whistles, but that doesn’t mean our kids don’t deserve it.”