Highland School Superintendent Ronnie Brogdon welcomed attendees to the event and the Community Choir performed for the crowd. Johnny Carter and Brogdon did the dedication service followed by tours of the facility.
The main entry to the gymnasium is on the upper level. The track is also on the upper level of the center, allowing those who are walking to look down into the court area which runs in a north to south direction from the highway toward Rebel Drive. Brogdon said he is very proud of the new facility.
The floor was painted to reflect the rebel colors of red and gray complete with large scale rebel mascots. Included in the new activity center, which was named after late Highland School Superintendent A.L. Hudson, is a hospitality room, therapy room and a weight room in addition to the locker rooms and court. The superintendent said he has been in numerous gyms throughout the state and said Highland's new facility was as nice as any of those and was something for which the school should be very proud of for generations.
Brogdon said the basketball teams began their practices in the new facility Oct. 25.
Brogdon said the first event besides regular games set for the A.L. Hudson Memorial Center is The Highland Classic, an invitation based series of basketball games designed to bring schools from all over the state to the new facility. The Classic will be held Nov. 9-14 with a total of 21 different schools being represented in the event. Brogdon said he hopes to fill the center for the event. The 2,140 seat arena replaces the Highland High School gymnasium which seated 672.
From the program this statement was issued by the family of the late A.L. Hudson.
"The family of A.L. Hudson appreciates the honor bestowed to him by naming the activity center in his memory. As a graduate of Ash Flat and former coach, principal and superintendent of the Hardy School District, he was very familiar with the needs of the area's young people. He made his mission in life to improve the educational opportunities for his community.
Highland was one of the first consolidated schools in Arkansas in the early 1960s. The foresight of patrons in the Ash Flat and Hardy School Districts recognized and supported the consolidation. Highland was a ground breaker and positive role model for what was to come in later years to many Arkansas Schools. This new center is just another example of the continuing support from our community.
Along this journey, Daddy was accompanied by his wife of 61 years; as students of Ash Flat, many people said, "If you looked for Regina, you found A.L. or vice versa." They had a long relationship; we would be remiss not to mention her interest and contribution to the Highland School where she served as high school secretary from 1964 until her retirement in 1986. She was honored that the new facility was being named for him.
During their 37 years of service, our parents saw many families go through this school and enjoyed the association. Sports was just a part of a student's education; they were also supporters of all facets in the life of a student and always maintained their interest in the Highland Rebels."