A dazzling architectural gem in the Chickasaw neighborhood that pays tribute to Louisville basketball legend Darrell Griffith was dedicated Wednesday evening.
The Darrell Griffith Athletic Center is a new home court for the middle school basketball team of the West End School, a private boarding school for about 75 at-risk boys.
Mayor Greg Fischer said the “spectacular facility will shine brightly at night” as motorists pass on the adjacent Georgia Davis Powers Expressway. He added that “something special has come to the West End.”
The exterior of the Griffith Center, on which construction began nearly two years ago, is done largely in orange and gray concrete blocks, with a multi-leveled roof with many sharp angles.
The facility’s cost was nearly $3 million, said Paul Perconti, chairman of the West End School board and the primary fundraiser. Perconti said the bulk of the money has been raised.
Former U of L and pro basketball player Darrell Griffith went with West End School team members on a look inside his namesake athletic center. Michael Clevenger, The C-J
“This is not really about a gym,” Perconti said in an interview. “It’s a shoutout to the community, about what these boys are doing and what they deserve.”
White said much of the labor and materials was donated by companies and crews working on the project.
White said that, if the building were paid for in cash from the ground up, it probably would cost about $3.7 million.
The building was designed with energy efficiency foremost in mind. Interior colors feature bright orange, yellow and purple patterns. There is substantial bleacher seating along one side of the court. And nearly all of the upper half of the building is glass, letting extensive light stream through.
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