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HCHS gym dedicated to Jerry Taylor

For his 57 years of service as a teacher, coach, and athletic director, the gym at Hart County High School was officially named the Jerry Taylor Gymnasium. Photo submitted.

By Katrina England

Hart Co. News-Herald

 

This past year on December 7, former Athletic Director Jerry Taylor approached the gym to watch his Hart County Raiders take on the Caverna Colonels.

Unbeknownst to him, on the brick above the entryway to the gym, the words “Jerry Taylor Gymnasium” had been unveiled earlier that day.

His family, as well as athletic staff, were waiting for his reaction, which proved to be worth the wait. Taylor looked up, saw his name, and with a large smile exclaimed, “Wow! That’s pretty neat!”

During the dedication, Assistant Athletic Director Angela Craddock read the following:

“He spent countless nights away from home through the years either coaching or supporting Hart County sports,” said Taylor’s daughters regarding the dedication of the gym. Photo Submitted by Angela Craddock.

“Mr. Jerry Taylor has served the students of Hart County schools as a teacher, coach, and athletic director for 57 years. His teaching career began before he graduated college in the 1965-1966 school year at the Carter Dowling School as the PE teacher. In 1983, Jerry became the athletic director for the district, serving a total of 39 years in this role. Jerry retired from teaching in 2000, but continued to serve as athletic director until he retired from the position on August 1, 2022. During his time as athletic director, he served as tournament manager at the district and regional levels for basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, and track. Jerry has been a member of the 5th Region Athletic Directors’ Association and has served on the 5th Region Policy Board as President for 20 years. Jerry also served on the KHSAA Board of Control for 8 years representing the 5th and 6th regions. While on the KHSAA board of control he served as vice-president and president… Jerry, your dedication, commitment, and contribution to Hart County Schools, the students, the student athletes, and this community are extremely appreciative. On behalf of the Hart County Board of Education, Hart County High School, and this community it is my honor on this 7th day of December 2023 to officially announce  that the gym of Hart County High School will now be officially named and called the Jerry Taylor Gymnasium.”

Though the school is totally new as of 2019, parts of the gymnasium remain from the original building. This was an intentional decision on the part of the school system.

According to Steve Caven, who served as Construction Coordinator during the demolition of the old facility and construction of the new facility, the concrete floor, the areas of the locker rooms, and the five center trusses were left from the original gym. Additions were also made to the gym area, which provided offices, bathrooms, and concessions.

This means that the Jerry Taylor Gymnasium holds a bit of nostalgia, as well as novelty, which likely makes the dedication even more meaningful.

“We are so happy for our dad to be honored this way,” said Taylor’s daughters, Andrea Adcock and Alicia Graves. “It was a total surprise! He spent countless nights away from home through the years either coaching or supporting Hart County sports.”

The concrete floor, the areas of the locker rooms, and the five center trusses from the original gymnasium still remain as lasting history inside the new facility.  This means that the Jerry Taylor Gymnasium holds a bit of nostalgia, as well as novelty. Photo by Steve Caven.

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