Community encouraged to celebrate West history at final home basketball game


Samantha Cranford

The old Clayton Gymnasium tiles will me remembered in the new building.

Samantha Cranford, Staff Writer

Saturday February 5 will mark the end of an era in Greeley West High School history. The old Clayton gymnasium will host its last events:  a boys and girls basketball game against Windsor.

If the Omicron variant cooperates, the Greeley West Booster Club will also host a chili supper and some of the final tours of the building before its demolished into a parking lot.  The event is organized for alumni and community members to gather for a meal and enjoy reminiscing their heart-filled memories of the soon to be destroyed gym and building.

The building will be gone, but not forgotten.  Elements of the of the old gym will remain in the new area, which will still be called the Clayton Gymnasium.   Things like the gym floor will be taken out and put up on a wall in the new building. The tiles on the gym wall will be commemorated as a digital photo that will be transferred into a vinyl for the auxiliary gym, which will still be called the Birleffi Gymnasium.   Principal Jeff Cranson, who has overseen the gymnasium designs said the actual tiles will be taken down and preserved in the art room for a future project. 

Some of the banners will be taken to the new gym and others will be replaced with nicer ones. Cranson is also excited to take the professional alumni jerseys down and reframe them to all match the gym.

Cranson said the even its important to him.  He said it will “Honor our history and where we come from.”

Cranson said keeping the gym names will continue to honor West’s history and the significance of key contributors to to Greeley West.  John Clayton was a former school board member who helped get the school built in the 1960s.  John Birleffi was a long-time coach and teacher at West.

Cranson said there have been many memorable moments that happened in the gym – some that even included current staff members who participated in sports. Mr. Brandon Torrez, for example, was a part of the most successful boy’s basketball team in the 1980s. 

Cranson said he will miss the old gym, even while looking ahead to the future.  “It’s the biggest high school gym around here and it looks different than everyone else’s,” Cranson said.