Paly gym finally says goodbye

Skylar Burris, Staff Writer

Paly’s gym stood for over 85 years, and the demolition marks the end of an era.

After the farewell ceremony to the Paly gym in June of 2014 celebrating its 85th anniversary, students, staff and alumni alike were expecting the demolition to begin shortly thereafter. However, everyone was surprised to hear that the demolition scheduled for June of that year had been postponed.

Over a year later and the gym demolition has just began. According to former plans of the school administrators, if the gym renovation had been on track it would already be ready for student use, or at least just opening. With the gyms and pool under construction, the water polo teams and volleyball team are forced to play elsewhere.

“It makes everything a little harder,” volleyball player Jessica Lee (‘17) said. “We need special travel arrangements to get there, [and] we don’t have a home gym so there’s no home feel.”

Gym construction has not only affected the practice schedule, but also the home game mentality according to water polo player Kevin Bowers (‘16). Even then, Bowers is continuing to keep his head up.

“I think we’re definitely upset about not having home games, but that’s just how it worked out for us,” Bowers said. “It’ll be alright.”

All teams have found a bright side to the construction according to Bowers, who has seen his team only grow closer since the loss of a home pool. “I feel that the gym construction, while definitely a pain, has done the opposite of distance us from each other,” Bowers said. “Hectically finding ways to get to practices and collaborating about what we can do to maximize the efficiency of our practices at much smaller pools has brought us close together.”

The main concern for Claire Krugler (‘16), a senior on the volleyball team, is that there won’t be enough Paly spirit showing up for their home games at Gunn High School.

“I think chemistry is not so much the issue more so the team spirit,” Krugler said. “It’s definitely harder to represent and embody Paly when we are playing at gunn and it’s definitely going to be harder getting people over to our games.”

One of the many questions being asked by senior athletes this year is whether the traditional senior night will be as celebrated in a different location as it was last year. While Paly’s home court is under construction, there isn’t a designated place for senior nights to be held. According to these athletes, that won’t stop them from commemorating their seniors.

“We have a great set of parents helping with the process this season, so I’m sure we’ll have something for our seniors this year,” Bowers said. “However, it will  be at Gunn as opposed to our home pool. It’s unfortunate, but I’m just thankful to have this team this year in the first place.”

All in all, athletes and alumni alike are looking forward to the new gym. The scheduled finish for the Paly gym is fall of 2017. Until then, Viking athletes will be without a home court advantage.