On a cold rainy night, students at St. Anselm Catholic Academy celebrated the new addition to the school — a new gym named in memory of a beloved coach.
The gym was unveiled on Monday night, Sept. 10, dedicated to the late Bill Harner, a long-time coach and leader of the school’s activities program.
Renovations of the gym — dubbed the “Home of the Bill Harner Clinic” — were completed in the summer, just in time for the new school year. According to Msgr. John Maloney, who did not know Harner, the coach left an impression on not just the students, but the athletic department as well.
“He was very involved in athletics and seeing through that children learn the proper meaning of athletics and what could happen, so they felt that it was a way to honor him, by naming this gym after Bill Harner.” said Maloney. “The clinic is for young children who don’t understand the game of basketball. They bring them in and they teach them what it really means.”
Saint Anselm Catholic Academy was built in the 1920s. Although previous restorations had been done, the gym was in need of extensive improvement. Since the school wasn’t able to provide the funds by itself, the youth activities program, the PTA and the Fathers Club contributed funds towards the renovation.
The event included a slideshow that provided images of the gym’s progress, and awards were presented to various individuals whose efforts helped lead to the gym’s completion.
The goal of the clinic, said Maloney, is to give students the best experience possible, as well as to reinforce the notion of giving back to the community. The clinic is open to St. Anselm students and to youngsters from the community at large.
St. Anselm Catholic Academy is located at 365 83rd Street.