It's been seven years in the making, and it's almost here -- an auxiliary gymnasium for Bishop Grimes Junior/Senior High School. The entire student body, along with several dignitaries, assembled outdoors for a special ground breaking ceremony last Friday which included song, speeches and lots of shovels.
The new gymnasium is part of a renovation project, taking place in the former BOCES Children's Village located on school campus behind the main building.
"It took five years to privately raise $550,000,"said Bill Connor, director of development. "This is the final phase of the capital projects here at school."
Demolition has already begun. Masons were to begin work this week.
"We're building it because of the strength and popularity of our winter sports programs," Connor said. "It will also allow us to have more basketball and volleyball camps for kids, and we can provide additional space to recreational groups."
The main gym not only houses numerous sporting events, it also shares its space with art and music programs, holding plays and musicals, alike.
"We needed another facility to share with them," said Mike Barlow, athletic director.
So the new athletic center, complete with additional locker rooms and offices, will have a connected walkway to the main school, which is perfect during periods of inclement weather. And while a game is being played or a musical is being performed in the main gym, the alternate building will now provide a place for students to continue practice if need be.
Staff expects the new gym to be in use sometime in January, Barlow said.