From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Nov. 3, 1912:
"If there is a Lawrence citizen, well supplied with the goods of this world and of a philanthropic turn of mind, Prof. F. H. Olney of the Lawrence High School would be pleased to meet him and might perhaps offer a course which his philanthropy would follow to the splendid advantage of about 550 Lawrence boys and girls. Prof. Olney isn't appealing to charity or passing the hat for contributions, but he is very deeply interested in a project which requires funds to put into operation. As Prof. Olney sits at his desk in the office in the High School he has visions, and has had for some time, visions of a fine big gymnasium, equipped with modern apparatus, with a large basket ball court, with trapeeses, high bars, gloves and mats, with a large assembly hall, large enough to accommodate the entire 556 enrollment of the High School. But they are only visions and The Principal is suddenly awakened as the door closes with a bang and a couple of youngsters bearing with them a choice array of excuses ask the Professor to sign a permit allowing them to return to their classes which they failed to attend the day before. But in spite of these interruptions, the dream comes back to Mr. Olney every time he gazes out of his office window and sees the unoccupied lot to the south of the Central School. What a dandy place that would be and what great value such a building would be situated right among the cluster of school buildings on this corner. And soon the Professor is building not air castles for himself but Air Gymnasiums if you please for the students of his school. There seems little hope of the school board being able to build such a structure for the high school for many years to come. 'But,' says Prof. Olney, 'if just some one with a-plenty of money and a big heart wants to do something that will bring honor to his memory, he might donate say $15,000 for a gymnasium for the High School boys and girls.' Perhaps Mr. Olney would be as much surprised as anyone if his dream came true and some one offered the money, but he has agreed to endure the shock for the good it would do the high school students. Anyone desiring to start a boom like this with a good big donation will find Mr. Olney in a receptive attitude at almost any time he is approached on the subject.... A fine Gym close to the high school would be a great assistant to the high school athletes, the students in general, and it would add much to the school property that Lawrence has already. In many cities, and in practically all larger ones the school owns a gymnasium where all school gatherings, entertainments, meetings, and indoor athletic contests are held. Lawrence High School athletes, who have been obliged to rely upon the good nature of other institutions that own gyms, have had this same dream for long years, but it is still a myth and not until philanthropy comes to the aid will it be otherwise."