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Donation by Fleskes make long overdue new playing surface become reality
The Barton Community College athletic department, aided by a $75,000 donation from boosters LT & Sheila Fleske, installed a new hardwood maple court appropriately named LT & Sheila Fleske Court. The project was completed on Thursday. Barton christens the new court on Monday, Jan. 7, in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division home opener with Dodge City. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

Trevor Rolfs had a vision when he accepted the Barton Community College athletic director position 1½ years ago.
Of his many tasks, Rolfs wanted to improve the facilities at Barton. His biggest project was replacing the old playing surface inside Kirkman Activity Center.
Thanks to a $75,000 donation from Barton boosters LT and Sheila Fleske, the brand-spanking-new court became a reality. The final gloss went down on Thursday afternoon.
“Dr. Fleske has been an orthopedic surgeon here in the central Kansas area for a long, long time,” Rolfs said. “He’s been an incredible and loyal supporter at the college and has been for a long time.
“He has season tickets behind the visitor’s bench and really never misses a game. He has a passion for Barton athletics, and has given back to the college and the community. We can’t be more thankful for what he’s done.”
The project was long overdue.
“The original floor was an old Tartan floor, which is a rubber-type of surface,” Rolfs said. “In 1984, they went in and put in quarter-inch maple wood, glued right down on top of that floor.
“It was literally like playing on a concrete surface. That floor held up OK, but this floor is going to be so much better for our student-athletes, as far as wear-and-tear and injury problems … just the flex in a floor from an athletic standpoint.”
New championship banners now hang on the three separate walls inside Kirkman. A new center-hung scoreboard is also in the works for late 2013.
“It’s very gratifying,” Rolfs said. “I’ve said all along that we have some awesome facility structures for our student-athletes at Barton, but all of our structures need a facelift.
“It has been a long time since we’ve brightened them up. Obviously, the floor was the major point of this thing, to get a surface that is conducive with our student-athletes and something that we can recruit to.”
Rolfs said the sparkling new floor adds a brighter, new look to the old gymnasium.
“The lighting kind of changes the shade of the stain, depending where you’re at in the gym, but we really wanted to incorporate the Cougar and its tannish brown color,” Rolfs said. “The stain was really conducive to the color of the Cougar, and we incorporated some of those stain colors on the floor. It makes for a beautiful surface.”
The centerpiece of the court is a 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep Cougar logo.
Bob Rein, who owns Larned-based RHR Construction, installed the court, along with Chad Durkin and L.D. McClellan.