Bay High Centennial celebration named Project of the Year
When the Bay Village Community Council is evaluating nominations for Project of the Year, among the main considerations are the impact of volunteers and involvement of community organizations.
It is always a difficult choice, as Bay has no shortage of community-based projects and programs. This year’s deliberation was no exception, with a long-awaited new library and many civic groups working to make Bay an even better place to live. But rising to the top was the year-long celebration of the Bay High School Centennial and the sheer number of groups and individuals involved in the effort.
The year 2022 marked 100 years of high school in Bay Village. In 1922, Parkview School opened at the corner of Cahoon and Wolf roads and housed grades K-12. Prior to that, Bay Village students traveled to other Westshore suburbs for high school.
Bay Village Schools and the Bay Alumni Foundation coordinated efforts to celebrate this milestone with at least one Centennial event every month, and encouraged the participation of the entire community.
“As we came out of Covid restrictions, a tumultuous election cycle and economic strains for many, this was the perfect time for a celebration to bring us together, to remember and honor what is special about Bay Village and to appreciate the tradition of excellence in our schools and community,” read the nomination letter. “This was an opportunity for young and old, new residents and those who have lived here a lifetime, to share their love for their community.”
Kicking off in January with a new Centennial logo and a Virtual Town Hall webinar on the history of Bay Village by the Bay Alumni Foundation, Bay Village Historical Society and BHS Principal Jason Martin, the year featured “official” Centennial events hosted by a variety of organizations.
School-related groups including the Bay Rockets Association, Bay Music Boosters, Bay High Thespians, Bay Village Education Foundation and the Board of Education were joined throughout the year by Bay Kiwanis, Bay Village Foundation, Bay Village Green Team and City of Bay Village.
“Because of this yearlong Centennial initiative, many civic and nonprofit organizations within the city of Bay Village worked together to have an impact on thousands of students, families, residents and alumni,” the project’s nominators wrote.
Several lasting projects came out of the celebration planning. A permanent Alumni History corridor was unveiled in a school hallway, along with a new Bay High School Military Alumni display. The first of a continuing series of Alumni Career Nights was launched to connect BHS alumni with current students.
In August, a ribbon-cutting was held for the new Home of the Rockets (HOTR) building at Memorial Stadium, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the stadium. This accomplishment was spearheaded by Jon Ransom and the Bay Rockets Association, who raised $1.6 million in donations.
“This project is a triumph for our community and the spirit of One Rocket Nation,” Ransom said of the new building. “Thanks to this outpouring of generosity, our new facility will enhance the stadium experience for future Bay student-athletes and spectators for decades to come.”
The Project of the Year will be recognized at a future date in conjunction with the Citizen of the Year ceremony.