Abstract

Frank “Buck” Weeber Gymnasium has been a pillar of the suburban Detroit city River Rouge, Michigan since the 1940’s when the emphasis of athletics became established within the community. The gym is the home of 14 state championship basketball teams (13 boys, 1 girls) and many great athletes. However, in 2000 the gym along with the conjoined high school were closed down due to asbestos and poor piping in favor of a new high school across the street (Price, 2016-1017). The new gym inside the high school lacks the same prestige and luster of the “The Buck.” The purpose of this investigation is to analyze why the gym has been left abandoned for over a decade, has there been any efforts to reestablish, and what problems does one face in pursuit of updating the facility for reopening. There have been efforts to open the gym again under the power of the school district, especially under the leadership of new superintendent Derrick Coleman but the efforts have been futile (Price, 2016-1017). The community cannot support the gym with levies and the like due to economic blight. Investors do not see the promise of “return on investment” from the facility. The community does not spend enough money for a sponsor or sponsors to feel comfortable paying in total of roughly $2 million to update the facility. The promising factor is the social construct and feeling of pride the venue hosts within the community may be powerful enough to garner support from citizens to the point where community effort trumps economic woes. However, this looks unlikely for the successful natives of the city are likely to leave the city after success, only to return for special events (Price, 2016-1017). These analytical efforts have led to the development of a SWOT analysis after various investigative conversations with city officials and citizens interested in seeing the gym reopen.

Advisor

Ray Schneider

Second Reader

Jiesun Lee

Semester

Spring

Year

2017

Degree

M.Ed.

Program

Sport Administration

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