| Long-shuttered gym reopens
at St. Martin de Porres School
For the last 20 years, the gymnasium on the Sacred Heart campus of St. Martin de Porres School in Oakland has not seen a basketball game.
While the gym on the St. Patrick campus is used by students during the school day, and after school and on weekends for CYO practice and play, the gym on the campus that serves students from kindergarten through fifth graders had fallen into disrepair.
"It's been one thing after another," said Julie Merrell, development director of the regional school, which serves the parishes of St. Columba, Sacred Heart, St. Patrick and the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
The gym occupies the second floor of the building that houses the LEO Center, which provides educational opportunities for students of all ages, including after school tutoring, in the Lasallian tradition.
There was just one stairway to the gym; a second was required. There was asbestos to be abated; an alarm system needed to be installed; the floor needed refinishing.
Through four years of fundraising, with major support from foundations, including the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, Y&H Soda Foundation and the Rogers Family Foundation, the gym has reopened. It will be used during the school day, and will be especially welcome on rainy days. Because the space is not accessible by wheelchair, there are no plans to host CYO games.
After a Mass Oct. 8 at Sacred Heart Church, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will bless the gym and refreshments will be served.
Also on the calendar: The 2013 Scholarship Concert is set for Nov. 1 in the chapel of Saint Mary's College in Moraga. St. Martin de Porres' ardent supporter, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, is performing and organizing the event, which will include the Saint Mary's College Chamber Singers. A wine and cheese reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Soda Activity Center precedes the concert, which will take place between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Ticket information is available at 510-652-2220. All proceeds benefit the tuition assistance program at St. Martin de Porres School.
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