BANGOR, Maine — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday morning for the new $3.8 million Mary Ellen and Edward Darling Athletic Center at John Bapst High School in Bangor.
Mary Ellen and Edward Darling are John Bapst alumni from 1959 and also proud John Bapst parents and grandparents. They've always supported the school.
The 14,000-square-foot athletic center will be fully operational later this year when students return to classes.
"Because the facility is so much larger, the two full-time PE teachers will be able to share this, in other words at any given time there can be two PE classes happening simultaneously, we are going to be able to have simultaneous basketball practices in the winter which is a great time-saver, keeps the kids from having to be at school for quite as late in the evening," Head of School Mel MacKay said.
Students used to train at a smaller and older gym inside the school, which will now also be remodeled into a dining hall, technology center, and making the building ADA accessible.
For basketball practice, students used to train at the Cross Insurance Center.
The new building was designed by Mike Pullen of Artifex Architects and Engineers and built by Nickerson & O'Day.
"The serious planning for this facility started in 2012, the actual architecture work started 5 years ago," MacKay said.
The facility has a basketball court that can also be a volleyball court or four badminton courts, plus a weight room.