93-year-old gym receives major facelift
VIENNA, Ill. (KFVS) – A 93-year-old high school gym is receiving a major facelift.
Students have been attending high school in Vienna since 1894.
The township high school construction began in 1918 and was finished in 1920.
The gym was a stand alone building when it was first constructed in 1928.
New upgrades were much needed in the “old gym”
Joshua Stafford, the Vienna School Superintendent, said he is happy about the upgrades.
“We’re excited about the opportunity of our old gym getting a facelift,” said Stafford.
He said lots of changes are coming.
“Boiler pipes abatement and some things like that, some removal of radiators and old boiler pipes so all that’s been removed. Floors have been redone and were working on walls, ceiling, stage curtains, sound system score boards, bleachers,” said Stafford.
The gym is currently used for physical education and practices.
“We’ve been able to secure some maintenance grant funding and some various other funding sources in order to do that,” explains Stafford.
Former Eagles Basketball player Max Hook, who played from 1962-1966, said he has fond memory in the gym.
“We had a loose ball scramble in the free throw lane. And my teammate Chester Lawrence, who was also our leading scorer all time at the high school, picked up the loose ball knees and shot it while still on his knees and made it and we won the game,” said Hook.
Hook says they definitely had a home court advantage playing in front of Eagles fans.
He also said the court was 74 feet long, while regular size in 84 feet.
“And it was really noisy the harder walls in here, the sound just jumped all over the place and it was a tremendous place to play and at the time. We didn’t think about it being a unique gym, it just what we had, it’s all we had,” said Hook
Hook says the upgrades were necessary in the gymnasium.
“This will be a grand place to have all kind of events now. But our main gym which is our new gym which is now 52 years old, is where we play our games now so this is only used for PE and practices,” says Hook.
Stafford says it will be nice to get the community involved with the upgrades.
“We really hope to have some of our folks who are part of those memories and some of history to be able to reconnect with that facility as it has a face lift,” he said.
The upgrades are set to be completed by next school year in August of 2021.