Mon, Jan. 27

Donation pays for MUHS gym floor work
Phoenix Suns, APS cover cost of refinishing

Refinishing or replacing the gymnasium floor at Mingus Union High School was budgeted for a chunk of money during the current $15 million renovation project. But the Phoenix Suns and APS picked up the tab, leaving more money to be used on other projects during the renovation.

They didn't just donate a set amount of money, according to Steve Blankenship, project manager for Mingus Union. They offered to pay for the total cost of either refinishing or replacing the gym floor. "The whole thing," Blankenship said.

"They would have bought a new floor," he said.

Blankenship said that after workers sanded down the floor, the wood was too good to replace. "We sanded it down to bare wood and sealed it," he said. "We were going to do the floor new."

He said that the Suns and APS, working in partnership, picked two projects, one at a school in the Phoenix area and one in an outlying area. Mingus Union was the pick for the outlying area.

The generosity of the Suns and APS will free up some money to be used elsewhere in the renovation project, according to Blankenship. "$23,119," he said. "That's what we got in a credit from the contractor."

Blankenship said that amount goes "right back into the project."

Near the end of phase one of the renovation project, and after the new school year starts, the Suns will send a few players and the team mascot to MUHS for a big party to celebrate.

"It will be a big media event," Blankenship said.

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