Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
“It is more than just a gym”
When the topic of a new gym comes up, I have a different take on the “gym” label. To me, it should be referred to as a classroom or community center because the space is so much more than what most people think—that it’s “just a place for sports”.
Our high school gymnasium is a classroom from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. each school day and has so many uses.
First and foremost, it’s a gathering place before school starts for many of our students who arrive at school early.
When the first bell rings, the high school gym is used for physical education classes and by our special education teachers as a therapy center for students with special needs seven periods a day.
Beyond the educational day, the gym is where we hold school related events and parent informational meetings such as homecoming and school lyceums. It is used for band concerts, parent’s day, grandparent’s day, Christmas and spring concerts, prom and post prom, elementary recess when it is too cold outside or raining, and as an “open gym” during the winter months for kids to have a place on the weekends to be out and active. The gymnasium is also used as a secure school testing site for the Minnesota Department of Education and state required assessments.
Of course, the proposed gym and track will also be used for extracurricular activities. Some of those activities, to name a few, include volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, one act plays, speech, awards, pre and post meet gatherings of teams, coaches and judges, band, and choir (both high school and elementary) as well as for football, baseball, golf, track, and softball practices during their respective seasons.
Our gym is a vital place for a community to be able to meet and interact with people they may not have seen for a while. Again, it is called a “gym” but is so much more to so many people. It is a place that never sleeps. During the school year, it literally is the busiest place in town.
Wayne (Ribsy) Petermeier