North B Street isn’t a name that properly represents the importance of the former Champion Paper mill that used the address, or the immense Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill sports complex that will occupy the former site, Hamilton resident Margaret L. Lewis believes.
That’s why Lewis recently suggested another name — Champion Drive, Boulevard or Road — in a letter to Mayor Pat Moeller and the Journal-News.
“To be on Champion Avenue or Champion Boulevard would be wonderful, because that recognizes one of the main assets that Hamilton has ever had — the Champion Paper company,” Lewis said in an interview Sunday.
Also, she noted, every athlete who trains at or visits what will be North America’s largest indoor sports complex — some are expected to make several-hour drives for tournaments after it opens in late 2021 — will want to leave the facility as champions themselves.
Mayor Pat Moeller said he likes the idea. He wonders what other companies and homeowners along the street would think about having to change their addresses.
Lewis has lived only about five of her 102 years in Hamilton, but she understands the importance of Champion Paper as told by many members of The Presbyterian Church of Hamilton, where her son, the Rev. John H. Lewis, is pastor.
“I’ve heard so many people in John’s church, he has so many people who worked at Champion, and so I was riding down B Street one day, and I thought, ‘That’s a tacky name for a place that’s going to be as important Spooky Nook,” she said.
She also likes the fact the name has “two connotations.” Moeller appreciated Lewis’ suggestion.
“I like the idea because it is a compliment and a testament to all those who make Champion papers great, as well as to future champions who will be coming out of that complex,” he said.
“Now, I’m interested what the business people will all think of it — or, it won’t be that many on North B, but there could be a few that may have an opinion as to whether or not we should change the name. There’s a procedure to that, but they may just want to jump on board, and be a part of it.
“I think it’s well worth looking into.”
Officials and business people believe the facility, which also will include a convention center, hotels, restaurants and shops, will create prosperity for nearby businesses by attracting 10,000 or more athletes and their families to the city on weekends.
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