Grace University not up for use anymore

Sophia Sgourakis, Staff Writer

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Last year, it was announced that Central sports teams would be allowed to use Grace University as a second gym. However, some unexpected changes have prevented the use of Grace this year.
Principal Dr. Bennett was informed about this news by Dr. Lisa Sterba, Chief Operations Officer for OPS. From her, he was informed that, “The area around the gym is being renovated to become a new elementary school. Because of construction, the area has been deemed unsafe for students.”
Athletic director at Central, Rob Locken, said Bennett had met several times with the head of Business Services for the school district to see if there was any chance of using the gym still. Despite these meetings, there was no hope, so Grace University was taken off the list as a possible practicing location for Central sports.
The construction of this new elementary school has caused a lot of inconvenience for athletes at Central, mainly the basketball players. Last year, the boy and girls basketball teams alternated between practicing at Grace and Central every week. This prevented any team from practicing later in the night, such as 5:30 to 7p.m.
Now, the teams have resorted to this late practice schedule. Either the boys or girls will practice from 3:30 until 5:30. The other team will then wait and practice until 7.
However, Blackburn High School and McMillan Middle School have opened up their gyms for Central to use. With this option, there is a responsibility to make sure players have rides to and from the new practice locations. Either way, practicing is not as convenient as it was last year.
Locken has commented further saying, “Looking for an additional site to use when one of the other gyms might not be available will be a challenge.”
This inconvenience will not last for much longer. In the email that Bennett and Locken received, it said the renovations should be done by the 2020-2021 school year. By then, the elementary school is planned to be complete, with new parking and landscaping. The gym of the elementary school will be a possible practice location for Central teams.
Until then, Central teams will have to be as adaptable and understanding to these changes.