A special ceremony was held today to remember a man who was a large part of the Utica school and sports communities.
After working in the Utica City School District for nearly 40 years, they decided to name the Kernan Elementary School Gymnasium after Gerald "Coach" Gilberti.
"This came about because Chris Gilberti called me in January and he said I'd like to do something for my father. He worked hard at Kernan School and I said Chris, come to a board meeting," said Louis LaPolla, the Vice President of the Board of Education for the Utica City School District.
The school presented the Gilberti family with a plaque that will hang above the entrance of the gymnasium, a place they call home.
"My father taught me and my family more in this gym about life than any sport or classroom could have ever taught us or prepared us for," said Chris Gilberti.
Gerlad Gilberti grew up in the community only to return as a coach and physical education teacher.
"He wasn't just the gym teacher here for 30 years some people don't realize that. He was also the coach of the basketball team at UFA for several years. He was the athletic director at UFA for a number of years, also at Kennedy," said Chris and Jeff Gilberti, Gerald's sons.
Gilberti was even inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame back in 2009.
But the Gilberti brothers said it wasn't the accolades and the awards that made their father special.
"He built a community around the love of sport, which brought all races and ethnic types together," said Jeff Gilberti.
And in the end, the Giblerti's said he did it all to see his students grow.
"There should be something memory of him because he really poured his heart out and worked very very hard for 40 years for this community," said Chris.
Gilberti's name will also be featured on the front of the facility and in a seal on the gym floor.
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