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"Paski Pavilion, or maybe the BozoDome?"

"There’s still work to be done on the beautiful new Bainbridge High School gymnasium before its Jan. 8 grand opening.While there’s still time, one of the items on school district’s checklist ought to be giving its new crown jewel a name.Maybe district officials are politely shying away, given the fact that the moniker of its predecessor, the David W. Buchanan Memorial Gymnasium, didn’t exactly insiniuate itself into the local lexicon during its 42 years of drab existence. Then again, its equally utilitarian next-door neighbor, the Ray Williamson Memorial Pool, assumed a unique character over the years by becoming affectionately known as “The Ray.”But in both cases, worthy personages of Bainbridge’s past were honored well beyond their mortal lifetimes. As will be Sonoji Sakai, through what we thought was a wonderfully inclusive public process last year to place a verbal face on the island’s new home for public school fifth- and sixth-graders.And the honoree need not necessarily be the type of person we might think of as conventionally prestigious. Recently King’s West High School in Silverdale, an institution of comparatively slim institutional history, named its new gymnasium after a longtime custodian. The same thoughtful effort should be undertaken for the new BHS gym, which district officials proudly proclaim as one of the finest high school athletic facilities in the Puget Sound region.In our mind, the list should begin with Tom Paski. Still with us at age 88 and still on the island, the venerable legend coached three different BHS sports between 1948 and 1970. In fact, the honor could well be extended to his wife Lois, a much-loved BHS home-economics teacher of similar tenure.Paski Pavilion ... it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?Some late island greats also come to mind. There’s former BHS athletic director Gordon Prentice, even though he was best known for coaching football. And Ed “Ashcan” Loverich, the former UW great whose one-handed shooting style set the standard for the future of basketball worldwide. Certainly worthy of consideration is another longtime Spartan sports booster, the late Bozo Taniguchi – in fact, if the shape of the building was just a bit different, BHS players could proudly proclaim themselves the resident dwellers of the “BozoDome.”We won’t prejudice the list beyond that, but we will stress that there ought to be a list.As with the process of naming the Sakai school, get the kids involved. Make it a fun process in which every opinion counts. Pick some finalists and place the decision in the hands of school board members.And once a name is selected, use it. And watch it grow into everyday usage as part of the community’s unique language – a bellwether of Bainbridge’s unique identity."

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