Senior staff writer
A new multimillion dollar gymnasium at Roncalli next season will replace the historic “Woodshed” and provide multipurpose space for school gatherings and special events. The building with a capacity for 2,000-plus spectators will be the new home for the Rebels’ wrestling and boys and girls volleyball and basketball teams for the 2019-20 season.
Double the capacity of The Woodshed, the facility will host girls volleyball and basketball sectionals for the first time in school history in 2021, according to athletic director Dave Lauck.
“This new gymnasium will have more space for everybody and provide a safer environment for players, coaches, officials and spectators,” Lauck said, “We have lost potential spectators on game nights here because it is difficult for spectators to move around comfortably. More fans will be attracted to the new facility, and that means our home games can finally become communitywide events.”
Preliminary work on the building has begun with construction expected to be completed in mid-August. The new home will feature:
• A main floor basketball court.
• Boys and girls locker rooms
• When bleachers are not in use, the floor has three basketball courts for physical education students.
• Compliance with ADA regulations.
• Coaches officers, training room, locker room for officials.
• Spacious concessions area, hospitality/conference room.
The Roncalli community and parishioners of the South Deanery will benefit from the facility, which can be used for all-school gatherings. It will relieve current capacity issues that limits nonathletic events such as Rebelation, Circle of Faith Fund Dinner, senior Mass and baccalaureate and backup indoor site for graduation.
Overall, it also will enhance physical education programs, allow for IHSAA tournament events and accommodate the student body and parents for special events. In addition to being more fan-friendly, the gymnasium has student athletes buzzing.
“They are excited about the new facility,” Lauck said. “Why wouldn’t they be? You’re replacing a 60-year-old building. So, they feel blessed because of what the school-community is getting accomplished for them.” Athletes will benefit timewise because the facility provides more practice space for teams.
“We also will be able to host multiple high school athletic events at the same time,” Lauck said. “For example, we could have freshman and JV basketball games at the same time before the varsity game.”
Major contractors involved in the project are Hagerman Construction Corp., general contractors, Fishers; C.R. Stafford & Associates, architectures, Indianapolis; Genesis Engineering Group, mechanical, electrical and plumbing, Zionsville; Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve Inc., structural engineering consultants, Indianapolis; and Michael Deer P.E., civil engineering, Greenwood. The facility is part of a multiple-phase project that also calls for cafeteria/kitchen expansion, six additional classrooms and a new training facility.
A far-reaching facility plan for the school was launched in 1993 at the direction of Archbishop emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein. Since then Roncalli community has invested in a media center, nearly 30 additional classrooms, a fine arts center, an athletic/activity center (Bubble Gym), a guidance center, a new stadium and track, a new wrestling and training room, a chapel and an administrative wing.
Funds and pledges for the current project began in spring 2016 and are made through “On this Rock: Building Faith and Family” campaign.