On December 1, 2014, a new ball court at the Antigua site was dedicated to the youth of Guatemala in memory of John “Juan Antonio” Huebsch. Joining the intimate ceremony were a handful of staff members, a group of youth leaders, and Honorary Board member Ed Flaherty and his family, who have been instrumental in helping to make this project possible.
Mr. Flaherty and Operations Director Josué Sicán cut the ribbon, and then Sandra Ortiz (Antigua site director), Rigo Garcia (youth program director), Teresa Hermodson-Olsen (youth program volunteer), and a group of three youth leaders spoke about the importance of the ball court. Mr. Flaherty also said a few words, commenting on the legacy John Huebsch has left in the hearts of donors, staff, and families. A plaque dedicating the stadium in John’s memory can be found on the south wall of the ball court.
Construction on the ball court began in early October and it hit some obstacles along the way. Since the ball court is covered, there were complications regarding the height of the roof. To be in accordance with the Municipality of Antigua’s height restrictions, the construction crew had to excavate 2 meters into the ground to lower the overall height of the building, preserving the surrounding neighbors’ view.
Steady progress was made after the excavation was completed; retention walls and support beams were put up, cement was poured, and the roof was assembled piece-by-piece. As of today, the ball court is about 90% completed and is scheduled to be finished by the end of January. Finishing touches include the installation of some large lights so the stadium can be used for night activities and painting the floor to create courts for volleyball, basketball, and papi fútbol (a variation of soccer). Once it is completed, an inauguration with the youth groups will be held sometime in February.