Hibbett Sports completely renovated the the gymnasium, locker room and weight room at Birmingham's Smith Middle School as part of its Operation Sports Renovation program. Hibbett started Operation Sports Renovation after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The first renovation project was for a school in Bayou La Batre that had its gym and field house destroyed.
“As coaches, we have barbecues on Saturdays, car washes, any kind of fund-raisers just to make a couple of bucks,” Johnni Arrington, assistant football coach at Smith Middle School, told The Birmingham News. “Unlimited resources are hard to come by, and this is a true blessing in disguise.”
All 335 students also received gift bags filled with hats, T-shirts, watches, head bands, sports bags, a basketball and a water bottle.
Hibbett now renovates three school gymnasiums a year after going through thousands of applications, Joy McCord, vice president of marketing for Hibbett, told The Birmingham News.
Smith Middle is the first Birmingham-area school to receive Hibbett's renovation. No specific dollar amount was placed on the Hibbett gift because it relies on donations from sporting goods vendors, but officials said it represents tens of thousands of dollars.