The Old Gym
Repair and improve your old high school’s gym on a limited budget.
I honestly can’t remember where I thought this idea up, but my old high school recently merged with another one. I was probably thinking about the future, when I would be so wealthy that I could spare quite a bit of it to give back to those things that contributed the most to me. During the last few years, $1 million was raised to replace the gym floor, and I think I remember that there was a problem that required repairs soon afterwards. In grade school, there was also a gym that had sections that were warping, and I don’t know if they have been repaired yet. Maybe it was when I was there fairly recently that I thought about repairing it myself?
Possible Game Here?
Imagine that you had $1 million to repair a school gym, and you have only one summer to work on it. What would you do with the money? Who would you hire to work on it? What kind of features would you want? What materials would you use for the floor, seats, windows, and walls? What kind of sports can you play in it? How much space will you need? Will you need to buy more land for the school to accomodate the luxury locker rooms you plan to install?
I think that you can picture some kind of Tycoon game. You can’t earn revenue from the gym. After all, it is a donation of your money and time. Of course, maybe the initial $1 million might increase based on parents and alumni feeling generous after seeing such great progress? I think the primary goal is to leave your legacy, so your reputation is at stake.
Each day, you would need to monitor the progress of the gym. If you run out of money before completion, the children will have a partially finished gym, and you’ll have a lot of upset people. Your name will always be associated with failure. Similarly, if you run out of time, school will get back in session, and you’ll have to contend with students getting in the way or playing pranks on your workers.
Will you have hardwood, concrete, or tile floors? How many basketball nets will you have? Will the floor slide away to reveal an ice hockey rink underneath? Will you also install astroturf? How about the real stuff? A swimming pool on the roof? Will you put in bleachers, or will fans have to sit in lawn chairs? Will you use state-of-the-art scoreboards and announcer systems, or will scores need to be updated by hand and read through a megaphone?
Will you build quality into the project from the beginning, or will you cut corners? What if you get caught? What if someone gets hurt? What if no one notices?
Perhaps there is a weekly meeting with the school’s board of directors. It can serve as a status report, but you can also use it as an opportunity to request more funding. If you’re charismatic enough, you can get various parts of the overall budget switched to the gym. “Sorry, kids, no band this year.” Will it be easier to request more money if everything is going well? If you do well, does the game end, or can you continue to oversee the gym over the next few years? Will you be asked to tackle tougher assignments? Your city may be tasked with hosting the summer Olympics, and you may be just the person for the job!
Rebuilding your high school’s gym may not sound like much fun in real life, but if you had a large budget and a summer, what would you do? It would be interesting to see what people would put into their school gyms.