The new mat is installed and functional. We are a bit cluttered and need to finish re-arranging and dividing up the old foam to get it out of the dojo, but we are open for classes. We will gradually tension the mat over the next week or two before we trim the cover flap, until then just watch your step getting on the mat.
I am extremely happy about the outpouring of support this week. The great fear of any all-volunteer organization is that no one volunteers. We have again demonstrated that our group is full of people who care enough about their Aikido studies to take time from their busy lives to scrape, paint, mop, hammer and drill. I am re-energized by the level of support you all showed from white belts to 5th Dan's. Thank you all.
Oh, and by the way. One more way Tiffin screwed up was making the mat larger than it was supposed to be (I say 'make' loosely as they are just middle men and didn't give the right dimensions to their vendor; who was actually very good to us throughout the ordeal). We squeezed it in, at the cost of the Shomen floor space, some extra cutting of the border wood, and some of our mat tensioning range. However, as best candy and I can tell, instead of losing 30 sq ft from the old configuration, we actually gained a few square feet. So yes, it not only looks bigger, it is bigger!
I'd like to take a group picture on the Thursday after camp to send to the actual mat vendor as a thank you. Based on some scheduling things, we will likely be doing post-camp belt presentation then (though I need to confirm that, so stay tuned) Either way, when we do the belt presentations, please come so we can have a nice photo taken. Harold - see if you can get the kids to sit still for one too!
Thank you everyone!!!