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St. Teresa unveils new athletic annex, senior class contribution

Jake Handley, a senior at St. Teresa High School, puts the weights back after performing squats during a strength and conditioning class offered in the school’s new athletic wing.

Visitors to St. Teresa High School’s open house Friday to view the new athletic annex had a surprise in store.

Standing at a door painted black, Principal Ken Hendriksen said, “This was an old storage room and used to be a classroom.” He opened the door with a flourish to reveal a theater.

The Class of 2014 wanted to leave their mark, he said, and when the work was under way to replace the locker rooms, the students took the old lockers to Sol Tic and sold them for scrap. They used that money, donations and their own labor to transform the room into a theater, which will be used for athletes to review game video, for Xbox tournaments for fun events and for watching films in class. Final touches were finished only a week ago.

gym2Tom Noonan, who coaches golf and basketball and teaches history, said the room has surround sound, Internet, and every video format available, so if he wants to show his students historical events or work with his athletes, it’s ready.

“A lot of classes do a senior prank,” Noonan said. “This class said they didn’t want to harm St. Teresa because it’s given them so much.”

The annex includes new locker rooms for boys and girls, a dedicated locker room for athletes with larger lockers to accommodate football equipment, bathrooms accessible from the outdoors for fans who attend games, and a state of the art weight room that will be used for athletes and for regular fitness and conditioning classes that have been added to the schedule this year. The fitness room is glass on three sides, allowing students plenty of natural light.

“It’s awesome,” said Jake Handley, a senior and a football player. “It’s a great upgrade over what we had the last 20 or 30 years. It’s just cool knowing that the kids after me are going to have a great facility.”

The annex will attract new students, too, he said. He’s already used it several times.

Alumna Janet Ernst and her family contributed to the project and took photos Friday of the brick in the weight room that has the family name and the dates 1940-1981. Her aunt, class of ’40, was the first to graduate from St. Teresa and the youngest Ernst graduated in 1981.

“This is like a junior college,” Janet Ernst said. “It’s as nice as you’d see at Richland (Community College) or even the DISC (Decatur Indoor Sports Center) that the Millikin students use. I love all the light.”

Article originally posted by Herald & Review here.




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