There are many special places at Xavier High School, places where memories have been made, moments etched in the minds of Xavier students throughout their lives.
The gymnasium is one of them. It is not only a sports venue, it is the centerpiece of activity for so many other events, including Masses and graduations, class assemblies and concerts.
So many Xavier students have graduated inside that gym, where they first gathered as freshmen for class assemblies to learn the ways of Xavier. They might come in as a boy but walk off that stage as a man. Many are not the first in their family to have graduated from here, making for something even more memorable as they are part of our Legacy Families.
The athletic history runs deep, basketball coaches Artie Kohs, Rich Magner and Mike Kohs on the sidelines, encouraging players, working officials. Get a packed house in there for a basketball game and it can be loud and intimidating for the opponent. Same thing when the wrestling mats are laid down for coach Mike Cunningham’s teams.
There is a long history of Masses in the gym, with all the Bishops of the Norwich Diocese having officiated as well as many area priests, including numerous Xavier graduates. For a Mass, the gym becomes a quiet time of reflection and reverence. When Xavier students, carrying various flags and banners, and the Bishop or priest process down the center aisle to the altar it is a powerful moment.
A Christmas concert is always a treat. Whether it is the jazz band, the concert band, the strings or the chorus, the sounds of the season leave everyone in good spirits.
But like any facility, it is time for the gym to be refurbished. It needs a new floor -- stripped, sanded to the wood, repainted and refinished. That entire process has not been done for nearly 20 years. The walls need to be painted. Higher quality banners celebrating Xavier’s 90 state and New England titles need to replace what is there.
The gym serves every student and parent in one way or another. The Xavier motto is to educate our youth in spirit, mind and body. The gym has been a place for all of that.
It is a showcase venue and as such needs the work to keep it vibrant.
So we’re reaching out to all to get this $50,000 project done over the summer. Please consider making a donation.
“Kohs Gymnasium is a centerpiece of Xavier High School,” Headmaster Dave Eustis said. “It not only serves our athletic purposes but doubles as our church. It is the home to so many great and meaningful events for our students and their families. This renovation is greatly needed for all of these purposes.”
Go to xavierhighschool.org and click on the Alumni & Giving tab. There is a “Donate Now” button to click on.
You also can send a check to Xavier High School, 181 Randolph Rd., Middletown CT 06457. Make the check out to Xavier High School with a notation that it is for the Gymnasium.