I returned to campus from winter break in early January, the week before the students returned. Colorado Academy Basketball was already preparing for the second half of their season. As I drove into the Upper School faculty parking lot, I noticed the temporary ramp that had been located outside of the new Field House had been removed. When I entered the Field House, which was the main component of Phase 1 of the Athletic Center construction process, I noticed the temporary barrier separating completed Phase 1 and the still-under-construction Phase 2 had been removed. Curious, I walked towards the new locker rooms and noticed the barrier at the end of that hall had been removed, as well. It was as if a holiday present was being slowly unwrapped before my eyes. I decided to take a peek into the yet-to-be-completed Phase 2, and it was as if I was having a redo of my Christmas Day. The Athletic Center is truly amazing—a game-changer for CA.
How will Lower School benefit?
Because of increased space in the new Athletic Center, the Lower School physical education experience will be expanded. The West Gym provides an extra space for younger children to move, something we all know they need! Small groups will have their own space to learn. Also, the climbing room will allow children at a young age to climb! They will expand knowledge of their bodies in a completely different dimension and develop courage and strength.
How will Middle School benefit?
Middle School athletes will enjoy the space primarily because practice times will be less congested, outdoor sports will have an indoor practice area on bad weather days, and the overlap with Upper School sports will be less cumbersome. MS athletes will be able to have more practice and game opportunities. The Middle School sports program will also be able to introduce weight training techniques and conditioning regimens, as MS athletes progress through the athletic curriculum and competitive sports options. With the additional courts, MS fall and winter athletes won’t have to play games as late in the day as they have been accustomed to doing.
How will Upper School benefit?
The Upper School athletic program will be able to impact all students, serving those who are fully immersed in competitive sports, as well as those who are still in the exploratory phase of their athletic career. With expanded practice options and an ability to train students to be quicker, stronger, faster, more explosive, and healthier, athletes will have a richer sports experience. Basketball and Volleyball players will not necessarily have to go off campus to practice. Spring sports will have practice space in case of poor weather. The ever-popular noontime hoops option for Upper Schoolers will be more enjoyable, because there should always be a court open for those who want to burn some energy prior to their afternoon classes. The weight room is top notch, the climbing room is unparalleled, the West Gym adds another dimension to the games and practice possibilities, and the sports medicine facility is truly college level.
With CA’s focus on highly competitive sports programs as well as lifelong health and wellness, athletics is a meaningful and necessary component to CA’s education of the whole child. The Athletic Center is a testament to this notion. I would be remiss if I didn’t do as my good mother has taught me and write a thank-you note for the gift that was given to CA. Thank you CA community! As the Director of CA Athletics, I am humbled by your selfless devotion to the school and our students and proud of the facilities that have been built on our campus. All CA students, competitive athletes or not, will benefit from your efforts and generosity.
Additionally, I am grateful to Andy Rockmore and his architectural firm SRA, Fransen Pittman as the lead construction firm, and Jesse Schumacher, CA Director of Operations, and his crew for their efforts and energies that have been devoted to this massive project.
I am hopeful you can all make the grand opening on February 6. There is an all-school assembly at 8:30 a.m. and a series of Upper School Boys and Girls Basketball games that start at 4 p.m. I would love to have the opportunity to thank you personally. Please check the CA website for more detailed information and schedules.