HAMSHIRE, Texas — Nearly a year after the locker rooms at Hamshire-Fannett High School were flooded by Tropical Storm Imelda the school now has locker rooms on the collegiate level that didn’t cost them a dime.
In September 2017 Harvey flooded the school when it hit Southeast Texas as a tropical storm and then Tropical Storm Imelda flooded the school again in September 2019.
Two major floods within two years took their toll on the boy’s and girl’s athletic locker rooms in the field house as well as two smaller boy’s and girl’s athletic locker rooms in the gym.
Because of all the repairs needed at the other schools in the small district, fixing them was a lower priority.
But in January 2020 things began to look up when the school was named as one of five finalists in a contest to win new locker rooms from Hollman Lockers.
The school’s entry in the contest included a student-made video highlighting the condition of the locker rooms.
Most of the doors to the lockers didn't close and some were just gone. The sinks didn’t work and lights in the room were broken.
The middle school was forced to combine with the high school while repairs were made in the small district and the damaged high school locker room was shared for months by students ranging from seventh graders to seniors. Most of the lockers were being shared by three students at a time.
People from all over the country were able to vote on which of five high schools spread around the country would win a boys and girls locker room renovation.
The contest was sponsored by Hollman Lockers through their “Hollman Helps” program.
Hollman, the "world's largest and premier manufacturer of team sports, fitness, and workspace lockers" was looking to transform a locker room for a deserving high school. The company has created lockers for collegiate and professional teams, including the Chicago Bears, Dallas Mavericks and Texas A&M.
MORE | Hollman Helps
Less than a month later the Longhorns found out they’d won by 40,000 votes.
The locker rooms, beaten down by two floods and used to house families displaced by the storms as well as worn down by overuse when students had to triple up on them were getting a complete makeover.
All that needed to be done was cleaning out the old locker rooms, painting the walls and putting in new flooring.
The new flooring was donated and installed and volunteers from Southeast Texas came in and using donated paint refinished all the walls.
Fast-forward about six months from winning the contest and now the students have brand new locker rooms in the fieldhouse and even in the gym.
Initially the plan called for spending about $100,000 to renovate the locker rooms in the field house but Hollman decided they wanted to do more.
Hollman also renovated the boy’s and girl’s locker rooms in the gym.
"I'm going to be honest, we went a little over budget and it's about $500,000 total with the flooring, paint, with some of the fixtures that we've fixed,” said Tia Williams of Hollman Lockers when the new spaces were unveiled this week.
One other school won a makeover in the contest but Hamshire-Fannett’s locker rooms were the first to be done.
"Oh my gosh, I feel like a pro,” said Julie Jackson of Varsity Brands, one of several companies that pitched in on the renovations with Hollman, as she checked out the space.
Though the locker rooms were unveiled this week not many student athletes have seen them yet.
Hamshire-Fannett High School unveils newly renovated locker room
"Incredible, it's incredible,” Williams added.
One of the team’s players, a senior, who has been through both floods was in tears after seeing the new space according to head football coach Mark Waggoner.
"You could see the tears in his eyes. He said 'I don't want a water bottle on the floor, I don't want a piece of tape on the floor,’” Waggoner recalled.
The football team now has a locker room on par with a college team.
"When you look at the quality of the work and how prestigious it is, it's elegant actually. You really wouldn't think it's a locker room,” said Coach Waggoner.
One of the big features that stands out for Williams is that they were able to incorporate the team’s Longhorns logo into the design of the renovation.
Several other companies pitched in to help Hollman complete the renovations including Sherwin-Williams, Varsity Products, Keyless.co, Steward Printing and the United Way.
Coach Waggoner says he’s proud the community can enjoy such a huge resource.
“You think back to a few short years ago, even months ago, when people actually lived in here,” Waggoner said, noting that the space could again be used again in that manner.
When asked what having the new locker rooms meant for he and his student-athletes Waggoner said "a sense of pride when you come in. This is yours… This is your place."