New gym is a hit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 10, 2002

The Grand Meadow community came out in droves Tuesday night to show their support for the very first sporting event in their new dome school gym. The girls' volleyball team played against Lyle/Pacelli. Donna Hall, who has worked for the Grand Meadow schools for 35 years, was in her regular place at the gymnasium entrance selling tickets. She is thrilled with the new school.

"I think it is wonderful. Everyone was out here today getting the place ready for our first event. The place was just hopping. Teachers were washing windows, the school has brought the town together."

The Grand Meadow color, royal purple was proudly worn by many in the crowd. The Mascot, Clark the Lark or Super Lark was nobly displayed above the home team bleachers.

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Parent, Mike Ptacek walked into the gym for the first time and said, "It's so bright in here. I came to see my ninth grade daughter, Chelsea, play. The kids are really excited about their new school that's all they talk about."

Diane Fey, a parent who came to watch the volleyball game with her younger daughter, Abby couldn't get over how great the new gym was.

"The new gym has no beams in the ceiling. It is so high. In the old gym there were columns in the bleachers and I couldn't see the games so clearly," she said.

Laura Keims, one of the volleyball players in the new gym, said the new school made the game more exciting.

"The new locker rooms are really nice. The old locker rooms were horrible. We had only one toilet in the locker rooms at the old school. Now we have five stalls and a handicap shower. The coaches have a separate room. It is so bright compared to the old school," Keims said.

Two students, Coyette Gunderson and Rachael Muhs were watching the B squad play volleyball. They said they were excited about being in the new school but were worried about finding their way around when they finally moved in.

Jim Hopp, the athletic director for 20 years said, "While we have been moving things in we haven't known where to go at times. Kids have made comments that they are confused. We all have to find our way around. I'm not sure if I will have to do a lot of walking. I walked plenty in the old building. An interesting point is the three domes that are end to end are 300 yards in distance and that's pretty far."

Hopp said that the outdoor sports would be held where they always have been because no money has been set-aside for a new athletic field, but there will be a practice field for sports next to the school. His office will be in the middle dome, which is where the administration offices are.

Sheial Donnelly can be reached at 434-2233 or by e-mail at