New Gym Opens (12.10)
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Bellarmine Opens One of Most Impressive Athletic Facilities in Tacoma Area
The first basketball game in Bellarmine’s new gym was played on December 3, 2010, in a brand, spanking new facility. Fans were impressed not only with the beautiful new court and gym complex, but with the girls’ team who beat Lincoln, 74-44.
The brand new $8 million gym project included the building of a new gym and the remodel of the Names Gym.
The state-of-the-art facility is equipped to keep pace with the caliber of Bellarmine’s athletes, the fitness needs of all students and the variety of events for the entire community throughout the year. The facility is seismically sound and built on “green” principles, reducing both the cost of maintenance and the school’s carbon footprint.
The new gym can seat 1,000 spectators and houses the 10,000 SF basketball and volleyball court, a beautiful, large lobby (4,642 SF) and concession area, two classrooms, coaches/PE offices, official/adult changing area, new boys’ locker rooms, a 4,500 SF fitness center, and 1,200 SF training room.
The remodeled Names Gym includes a renovated girls’ locker/shower room, and a renovated wrestling/exercise room. A new corridor from the girls’ locker room to the new gym is enclosed so the girls no longer have to run outside in their gym clothes in inclement weather. The Names Gym will be used primarily as a practice gym.
Just ten months in the making, the new gym complex opened on schedule in time for the school’s basketball and wrestling seasons and is a beautiful new setting for all-school events such as the first all-school mass held in December.
“Work involving many people, over many years, in many places was done, that laid the groundwork that allowed this building to proceed from dream to reality,” said Vern Harkins B’67, Chair of the It’s Game Time Campaign to raise the funds to build the new gym. At an event to celebrate the gym opening in December, Harkins especially thanked both project volunteers and donors. “Over 1,000 gifts have been made from all over the country, some big and some small, but all valued, all deeply appreciated, and all collectively making this beautiful facility possible,” he said.
“For 450 years, Jesuit schools have been known for educating the ‘whole person,’ spiritually, mentally and physically. This facility will help us take that up a notch. It is not only an athletic venue and a teaching environment, but our largest liturgical and performance space as well. It is truly a place to play, pray and celebrate,” said President Jack Peterson.
Athletic Director Ed Ploof B’75, who was instrumental in the gym building project, notes that the building’s existence is truly the result of a great team effort. “On paper, we never should have been able to build this building -- but we did. We started the process when construction costs were through the roof and later suffered through one of our worst economic downturns in recent history.”
Located on the same footprint as the old gym that was built in 1958, the new gym has a total building area of 34,449 square feet. The gymnasium court layout includes six basketball hoops and two full-size practice courts for basketball and volleyball.
Funding for the gym came from a variety of sources including parents, alumni, faculty, staff, businesses, individual and corporate donors and foundations. A number of people also donated in-kind materials and services.
A special thank you goes to Garco Construction of Spokane who was general contractor for the project and helped hold costs down, was easy to work with and finished the project on schedule.
On behalf of the administration, coaches, physical education teachers, students and athletes of Bellarmine, thank you to all who donated to the project for your generosity. The beautiful new facility will serve the greater Bellarmine community for years to come.