Gym reconstruction to affect athletic programs

    Palo Alto High School’s students, staff, coaches and parents are facing challenges brought on by recent construction projects, including the Big Gym’s demolition and the pool’s closure, which have caused some sports teams to relocate off-campus.

    Both volleyball and water polo have been forced to move their practices off campus. Water polo is currently practicing at Rengstorff Park but will move to Gunn’s pool in the coming weeks. According to volleyball head coach Jekira Wilson, the team will practice and play games in Gunn’s old gym during the 2015 season.

    Wilson said she took several days to complete the transition, ensuring that the equipment was properly labeled and ready for transportation.

    “The change in location has only affected me in the sense of making sure all three teams [freshman, junior varsity and varsity] are all organized and getting to Gunn on time for practices and eventually matches,” Wilson said.

    Due to the commute often taking upwards of 20 minutes to get to practice, Wilson’s largest concern is giving players enough time to get their homework done.

    Junior volleyball setter Jessica Lee also agreed that having to travel across town is one of the biggest difficulties.

    “The location is a pain to get to every day,” Lee said. “You have to allow 30 minutes to get there every time.”

    Despite disliking the relocation, Lee stays positive about the new gym construction.

    “It’s unfortunate, but it’s for the better for Paly athletics so we are paying it forward,” Lee said.

    Another major concern for Wilson is getting enough Paly  fans to attend home games.

    “I don’t believe the move will affect the players’ performance,” Wilson said. “I do encourage Paly student’s however, to make it out to games— the girls will need the support.”

    Paly Volleyball is not the only fall sport being affected by the gym construction. Water polo will is also facing  the challenges of no longer having a pool on campus.

    Much like Lee, junior water polo player Alex Beaudry is also being affected time wise by the move to a new location.

    “The change allows for no procrastination,” Beaudry said. “Since practice is right after school and ends at around 6 p.m., there are no big blocks for me to do homework in.”

    Some winter and spring sports including basketball, wrestling and badminton. will also have to move off campus during their respective seasons.

    Other than changes in location, Paly sports teams are settling into their groove. “Gunn has been very accommodating and other than the giant “G” on the wall and the change in paint colors, we are very much making ourselves at home,” Wilson said.

     

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