The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday received information regarding a request to name the Turlock High School West Gym, which is currently undergoing renovations to modernize the building.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Mike Trainor stood before the Board and read a letter from the Louise Marchant Legacy Committee, asking that the newly-remodeled girls’ gymnasium be named after the late Turlock woman.
“Louise Marchant’s legacy of dedication and enthusiasm for Turlock High never wavered and was strong and enduring throughout her life and carried over into the entire community of Turlock,” said Trainor, reading from the letter. “Since Louise was always known as ‘Turlock’s Biggest Cheerleader’ throughout her life, it is only fitting that a symbol of Louise’s pride as a Turlock Bulldog be posted permanently with her name as the new name of the girls’ gym.”
Marchant graduated from THS with the famous Class of 1944, who accepted their diplomas on June 6 – the same day that the allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II. Marchant served as a City of Turlock Planning Commissioner and was a reliable booster and donor to THS sports, Turlock Little League and Turlock Youth Football. She was also known as the “mother of Turlock Youth Football” during the 1990s.
During her years at THS, Marchant was a song leader and was also heavily involved in efforts to see that the THS Auditorium, now the Turlock Community Theater, was restored. She is also the only member of the THS Hall of Fame who was not an athlete and was named honorary homecoming queen by the school in 1994.
“If you were to explain or talk about everything that Louise Marchant did, we’d be here for a long time,” said Louise Marchant Legacy Committee member Joe Fagundes. “She was one of a kind, and her heart was always in this community. She proved it by action, not just by talk.”
Trainor will bring the request to the Board formally on May 3, when an action vote will take place deciding whether or not to name the new gymnasium after Marchant.
“We’ve got to be careful when we name buildings after somebody,” said Board Member Bob Weaver. “But you won’t be able to find anything bad about Louise Marchant. She has been the greatest cheerleader for Turlock High School, and I know we’re not voting on this yet, but it’s a no-brainer.”