St. Croix’s GHCDS Opens New Tennis Court

Head of School William Bugg cuts the ribbon with a flourish, planed by, from left, Felix Lima, Joseph Croney, Robyn Falsoner and Amy Carter. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)
Head of School William Bugg cuts the ribbon with a flourish, planed by, from left, Felix Lima, Joseph Croney, Robyn Falsoner and Amy Carter. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Good Hope Country Day School students, parents, and faculty joined new Head of School William Bugg for their ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday marking the opening of a newly refurbished tennis court.

The school’s lower, middle and upper school students entered the area and positioned themselves around the perimeter of the court.

The second grade students from teacher CarismaBishop’s class were the first to arrive, excited and eager to get the best vantage point for the activity – yet stay out of the blazing sun. Three students commented about the refurbished slab as they waited for the start of the ceremony.

“The slab is nice and it’s very brand new,” said McKenzie Lawrence. “They painted it all over.”

Isabel Bohlke said it was her first time seeing it. Harper Wadner liked that it dries so quickly when it rains, without any puddles.

Bugg opened the ceremony speaking of the beauty and the durability of the new concrete court. He invited the student body to participate in “a little bit of a contest” to come up with a new name. Bugg included the teachers and athletic director Amy Carter “to assist the students to come up with a beautiful name for this beautiful space. If it still has the word ‘slab’ in it, that’s great with me,” he said.

The ribbon was cut to applause and Bugg recognized “the people who helped make this beautiful space possible.”
Bugg thanked Parents’ Association president Robyn Falconer and the association, the advancement team of Linda Stamper-Keularts and Kiomie Pedrini, the deans of the school, and Joe Croney, chair of the board of trustees, and the entire board for the continued support and work on behalf of GHCDS.

Falconer and the parents recognized the huge need here, Bugg said. The faculty had been involved in helping to identify parts of the campus that needed special attention, he added.

The Parents’ Association put together a lot of fundraisers and a lot of effort to see to it that we raise funds to do this, Bugg continued. “It’s been a year-long effort.”
Falconer said she was very excited and thanked the faculty and the students. She also recognized recognized Carter and Coach Christopher Floyd.

Carter reiterated how fantastic it was that each student got to be a part of the building of the slab.

“I think that in most cases they say, ‘many hands make light work,’ but in this case, it was many feet,” Carter said in reference to the Panther Fun Run.

Bugg gave kudos to his predecessor, Kari Loya, whose tenure at the school was 2015-2019. “He really deserves a lot of credit for helping behind the scenes and making this happen,” Bugg said.

The Parents’ Association started working last fall with Loya and the faculty and administration to figure out what priority to focus on for this year. This was a unanimous choice, Bugg added.

Bugg joined GHCDS in early July. He was head of school for seven years at Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vermont.

“We are really happy to be here,” Bugg said about his and his family’s presence in the GHCDS and the St. Croix community.

Bugg described what the slab looked like before: The curves around the edges could skin someone’s knee or someone could run into broken asphalt, he said.

“This is the same consistency of asphalt as a tennis court. McCourt Tennis Courts did this,” he said. “They are the same company who did the Buccaneer Hotel’s tennis courts.”

Bugg noted the area around the court is filled with grass and plantings donated by Brian Daley, saying, “Thanks to him and Geographic Consulting for his horticultural expertise.”