Maple Schools honors founder of basketball program with new gymnasium

EL RENO, OK (MAY 30, 2014) — On March 19, 1951, four rural one-room schools held a special meeting in the Township of Maple — just west of El Reno near Calumet — and agreed to consolidate into Maple School District #162.

In 1957, three more one-room school districts consolidated into Maple Schools. Since then, this relatively rural school district has steadily continued its growth.

In 1964, the idea of Maple School having a basketball program was proposed by Clyde Gene Miller after he was approached by El Reno Sacred Heart School’s 7th and 8th grade basketball coaches. Sacred Heart was set to host an 8-team bracket tournament, but needed one more boys team and one more girls team to compete.

To accommodate the new sports teams, in 1968 a gymnasium facility was constructed for approximately $20,000, consisting only of a floor, four walls, and a roof. Through countless hours of hard work by volunteers and private donations, the school board and patrons of the district slowly finished out the gym with a concession area, bathrooms, and bleachers.

A cafeteria was even added to the structure along the way to serve the needs of the ever expanding country district.

But the aging structure just couldn’t withstand 21st century demands. Continued district growth demanded a more solid structure.

Through the assistance of a public bond issue, Maple School District was able to retain CMSWillowbrook Construction Management to erect the brand new Clyde Gene Miller Gymnasium, a state-of-the-art facility that will serve the needs of the growing school system.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 6, 2013, with construction finishing in early May 2014.

According to Bill Jones, CMSWillowbrook job superintendent, the new facility boasts more storage, upgraded finishes, and innovative features to better serve the needs of Maple’s athletic program.

“I really enjoyed working with school Superintendent Art Eccard on the project,” Jones said.
The old gymnasium, which was left standing, is planned for use as an expanded classroom and cafeteria area, he added.

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ABOUT CMSWillowbrook, Inc.

Based in Chickasha, Okla., CMSWillowbrook is an industry leader in construction management. Founded in 1974 by current President Cary DeHart, CMSWillowbrook’s first project was one of the first public construction management contracts in the state of Oklahoma. The corporation is an Oklahoma success story, now employing more than 90 staff members at offices located in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Chickasha.