Gone is Gerber Fieldhouse on the Saint Louis School campus, and it is being replaced by a new sports complex.
Groundwork of the final phase of the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Center — construction of a new gymnasium — is being done now.
According to Glenn Medeiros, the school president, plans were originally drawn up in 2010. However, the work was put on the shelf for a while due to low enrollment.
“Enrollment had gone done to about 550 students, so we needed to wait a few years,” Medeiros said. “The focus was to try to build enrollment to where we’d be ready for it financially. Enrollment (now) is approaching 900 students. We’re doing real well, so the time is now to get it going. As soon as the foundation work is done, people will see it going up and get excited.”
The initial phase of the project has been completed. There is a new weight room, with renovated and expanded locker rooms and offices.
“Clarence T.C. Ching graduated from Saint Louis and he had a real love for the school and Chaminade (the university sharing the campus). The gym is going to have a regular basketball court, with an extra court — a practice court — connected to it.”
Medeiros was proud to say that the facility will have a heritage room, with TV screens informing visitors about the history of the school.
“We have a great, long history, since 1846, only five years after Punahou,” he said. “We’re one of the oldest schools West of the Mississippi, along with Lahainaluna (1831). We want to be able to tell our story. There will be another room that pays tribute to Ching and his foundation and what they’ve done for the school.”
The bleachers at the new gym will seat 1,200. McCabe Gym will remain in use for Saint Louis and Chaminade athletics. Chaminade will also use the new gym at times, according to Medeiros.
When the work is done — as visitors drive onto campus and look to the right — they’ll see the new athletic center first, followed by the new Saint Louis locker rooms a little higher up the hill, followed by McCabe Gym and then new Chaminade locker rooms being built.
“We did a tour of private schools and noticed that most have another facility for all the other sports like wrestling or gymnastics, with an extra couple of basketball courts,” Medeiros said. “Program strength and amount of practice time, we think there’s a correlation. With the new gym and McCabe, there will be more practice time with the potential of having more teams. This can help us in basketball and volleyball and other sports.”
The cost of the last phase of the project is around $15 million, with about $3.5 million having already been spent on the initial phase, and most of it has been funded by the Ching foundation, according to Medeiros. Fundraising by the Saint Louis Alumni Association and Chaminade has also been done.