Hopedale Gym Will Open In Early Part Of December

    HOPEDALE -- Basketball will make its debut in the new $350,000 gymnasium early in
    December, according to present plans. The new building, located near the Community
    House and in Colonial style to match, is receiving its final interior work now.  The exterior
    is complete except for landscaping, which will be postponed until spring. The gym is 70
    by 100 feet, and the basketball court measures 50 by 80 feet.  The court is arranged so
    that two shortened courts can be utilized for practice and intramural games.  A curtain
    divides the two courts, each 42 by 60 feet.  Folding bleachers will have a capacity of
    450, with seats on both sides of the hall.  They are arranged in four rows, and each row
    folds back against the wall when not it use.  An office, locker rooms for men and women
    and other units complete the layout in the one-floor building.    

    Its exterior is of brick, with tall columns at the entranceway.  The building, made possible
    by a donor who desires to remain unknown, will become part of the Hopedale Community
    House, Inc., with the same managing board. Gordon A. Norton, director, is in charge of
    both buildings. The gym will function as part of the Community House programs. Plans
    for an indoor tennis court for a winter league are being studied.  The gym will be used by
    the school department, Draper Corporation employees, and for other town activities.  
    The Milford Daily News, October 31, 1955.

                                  Key To Be Presented at 7 P.M. Dedication

    HOPEDALE -- Hundreds are expected to attend the dedication of the new memorial
    gymnasium on Dutcher Street, near the Community House tonight.  Dedication and
    presentation of the keys to Thomas. H. West, president of Draper Corporation, will take
    place at 7 p.m., with an open house following until 9 o'clock.   

    Walter Ritchie of Malden, will present the keys to West, who will be accepting the
    building for the Hopedale Community House, Inc., whose directors will supervise the
    operation of the new building.     West will make the acceptance speech. Henry Billings,
    treasurer of the Community House, members of the gymnasium building committee, and
    representatives of Rich & Tucker Associates of Boston, architects, will be present.    The
    plaque in the memorial bears the following inscription: "Dedicated in memory of George
    Albert Draper, director and treasurer of Draper Corporation, 1896 - 1916. Creator,
    Hopedale Community House, 1923. A lifelong resident, benefactor, and contributor to
    the social and economic welfare of this community which he loved."  Mr. Draper was
    treasurer and a director of Draper Corporation for 27 years, and in 1923 gave the
    Community House for the use of the town of Hopedale.

    The cost of the new gym, $350,000 is being borne by an unknown benefactor, in
    memory of Mr. Draper. The basketball court, 70 by 100 feet is so arranged that two
    games may be played at the same time with a dividing canvas. They are laid out in a
    north-south direction.  The main court, regulation size, is 50 by 84 feet and is east-west.
    Bleachers accommodating more than 400 are available. An electric scoreboard has
    been installed.    

    n addition to basketball, indoor tennis and badminton may be played.  There are
    separate shower and locker rooms for boys and girls, supervisor's office, storage and
    drying rooms, and boiler room.  Members of the gymnasium building committee and also
    trustees Thomas H. West, Henry Billings and William K. Child.  Other trustees of the
    Community House and the new Draper Gymnasium are Eugene Newhall, Herbert A.
    Picard, Walter Soderberg, Irving G. Ammen, and Fred Butterworth. They promise that
    Draper Gymnasium will be the scene of expanded community activities in the years to
    come. Planned programs of basketball, physical education, and other indoor activities
    will be arranged for students in Hopedale schools, the townspeople, and employees of
    Draper Corporation.  Schedules will be arranged so that as many people as possible
    may benefit from the advantages offered by this newest community facility, the
    committee states.  Milford Daily News, November 22, 1955.

    Who was the anonymous donor of the gym? George Albert Draper's son, Wickliffe
    Preston Draper. The name was confirmed by a member of the Hopedale Foundation in
    2015.

                       
     For much more, see Now and Then at the Draper Gymnasium   

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    From an architect's proposal for the gym


                             For much more, see Now and Then at the Draper Gymnasium   

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