South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Lindbergh Gym 3 renovated, ready for action

The newly renovated Gym 3 at Lindbergh High School was unveiled last week, ready except for finishing touches.

One of the first signs of progress on the new Lindbergh High School is a renovated Gym 3, which was completed last week except for finishing touches just in time for basketball season.

The Flyers boys basketball team held its first home game at the new gym Tuesday, with the Flyers falling to Marquette 50-33 in a non-conference game.

Contrary to its name, Gym 3 is one of two gyms at Lindbergh High School and is the larger one used for most events and athletic competitions. The latest renovation adds a third set of bleachers around the court so that there is stadium seating around three sides of the court. That allows the entire student body to be assembled in the gym for assemblies and other events. Until the new auditorium is constructed as part of the new high school, the district also holds opening-day events for all its staff in the gym.

When construction continues on the new $89 million Lindbergh High School that will be built at the current location using new and existing construction, the new training room and weight room will be built over Gym 3. A new 3-story building will be built between Gym 3 and the 300 and 400 buildings. The commons area next to Gym 3 will also be renovated as part of a later construction phase.

The project is part of the larger $105 million Proposition R bond issue voters overwhelmingly approved in April 2019. Prop R, for Safe and Ready, will also fund secure vestibules at each school that doesn’t have one, along with the sports-related improvements like new turf on the football field and the new Gym 3. The new green sport court will be used for physical education and practices.

The new bleachers, moving the batting cage, adding a wrestling mats hoist, rubber floors on the sport court and new graphics cost $227,000, the district said. The mezzanine adds $304,000 to the cost. The mezzanine is the closed-off area behind the new bleachers that includes a batting cage and storage.
The wood floor was refinished through an insurance claim from the damage of a small light fire in fall of 2019.
One of the most difficult aspects of the construction so far has been getting permits from St. Louis County, Superintendent Tony Lake said in October.

Originally, the district aimed to have the upgrades to Gym 3 and the commons finished by the first day of school, or early September.

But there were delays acquiring permits for wood floor replacement, rubber floor installation and installation of new bleachers.

The building inspector intervened “in Gym 3 when we had some permitting issues of getting the paperwork off somebody’s desk — he was really good to work with us,” Lake said.

The bleachers and floor in Gym 3 had just been replaced in 2015 as part of the district’s previous bond issue, Proposition G, which also funded the new Dressel Elementary School and $35 million in upgrades at LHS including new bleachers and a floor at the high school, a cafeteria expansion and two science classrooms. At the time of the 2015 renovation, the bleachers were the wooden originals installed in 1967.

However, a light bulb fell from the ceiling in the summer of 2019 and caught fire on the floor. The fire was quickly extinguished, but the floor was damaged and had to be replaced, district officials said.

The new 2015 floor showcased a Flyers arch logo, while the 2020 new floor says LHS at the center.

The district is making extra efforts to align the renovation of older parts of the school with the brand-new areas that will be built on the current school campus as part of the bond issue.

“We want it to look as good as our new building,” Chief Financial Officer Joël Cracchiolo said at a Finance Committee meeting last year.

Gym 3 is one of the parts of construction that current students will be able to enjoy while attending school at LHS, before the new school opens.
“We’re trying to give the kids who are already here something to be excited about rather than just construction and a pretty fence,” said board member Karen Schuster last year.

At the time of the 2015 Gym 3 renovation, Lindbergh High Principal Eric Cochran said in a news release, “Gym 3 has always been a main gathering place for the LHS student body, whether it is for a home basketball game, a pep rally or an all-school assembly. It is the only space large enough to hold our entire student body, and we greatly appreciate the support of our community as we work to accommodate enrollment growth at the high school level.”

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