They’re the nucleus of every high school, at least for the jocks. But one high school gym in Indiana is done hosting prom, graduation and PE class. These days, the former athletic hub of East Hancock High School is making headlines as a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home recently listed for a very reasonable $299,000.
The 5,984-square-foot Wilkinson property boasts something everyone in the Hoosier State should appreciate: an indoor basketball court. It also features the original maple hardwood flooring reportedly paid for by the PTA. Now a major selling point, that flooring was once the source of at least a few bruised and battered butts.
“A former teacher recently told me about when another teacher caught three boys walking on the gym floor with their street shoes,” said the property’s listing agent, Roy Wilson — also a graduate of East Hancock High School. “They were paddled because it was against the rules.”
Last Saturday, before the listing went somewhat viral, the sellers accepted an offer. Wilson can’t say for how much, but he added it’s over the ask. The prospective buyers, also graduates of the East Hancock school system, plan on living there full-time.
It’s not the first time in his 49 years of working in real estate that Wilson is selling the local landmark. Twenty years ago he sold the beloved brick building to clients who purchased the whole high school kit and caboodle. They eventually took a wrecking ball to the classrooms and turned the dated gym into their dream home.
“They spent 20 years working on it and invested a lot of money,” added Wilson. “I think they’re selling now because they’re tired of working on it and want to move to Florida.”
Built in 1950, the gym was used by the school system until the early 1970s. Wilson remembers exactly where he sat during soon-to-be Gov. Otis Bowen’s commencement address. Other than that, he doesn’t recall much, academically-speaking. However, he does remember one administrator.
“Our school principal was Walter O’Brien, brother of legendary [Butler University] basketball player ‘Buckshot O’Brien.’ ”
Half of the original basketball court still stands — making the property perfect for a hardcore hoops enthusiast. The other half of the court was converted into living quarters.
Still, it’s not hard to tell what they used to be. Where a normal kitchen would have an island, this one has a free-throw line. While the listing says the home would also make a “fantastic daycare,” the bleachers could be a real buzzkill. (It’s hard not to imagine toddlers tumbling down them.)
At 828 square feet, the master bedroom alone is the size of the average New York City apartment.
Other highlights of the interior include a play room, a great room, an exercise room and even an 850-square-foot enclosed balcony on the upper level. What the property lacks in garage space (spoiler alert, there is none), it more than makes up for with grass. Sitting on 3.61 acres, let’s just say it’s no place for a push mower.
One can assume the soon-to-be new owners either peaked in high school and want to relive their glory days — or at the very least, are not easily triggered by unsavory scents.
“Don’t get me wrong, the place doesn’t smell like a nasty locker room,” said Wilson with a laugh. “But yeah, it definitely smells like a high school gym.”