By Drew Terhall
NEW MADISON — The Tri-Village Patriots will have a new battleground to compete on. The high school opened up the new Patriot Activity Center on Nov. 11 to the public.
The open house began with a ceremony in the now old gymnasium. Athletic director and girls’ head basketball coach Brad Gray started the ceremony with his opening remarks.
“This gymnasium holds many special memories to me, both as a coach and as a parent. We look forward to creating new memories as a community in the PAC,” Gray said.
Tri-Village High School Principal Lee Morris then spoke and introduced some special guests that spoke about their experiences with the old gym.
Previous Tri-Village coaches and athletic directors spoke about the memories they had with the old gym. The speakers included: Bill Moore, Lee Falknor, Jim Maples, Tony Thomas and current School Board President Tom Schlechty.
Each speaker spoke about the tradition at Tri-Village and how the PAC will help further that tradition.
Superintendent and boys’ head basketball coach Josh Sagester gave the closing remarks for the ceremony. Sagester said it was important to give the students the best facilities possible. They were able to do that by building the PAC without asking for any money.
“Our students continue to excel and rise to the occasion on all fronts at Tri-Village. It is only fitting that we were able to provide first class facilities and resources for our students to continue to accelerate and flourish all while not raising taxes or asking for new money,” Sagester said.
The project started about three years ago. It was put on pause as the pandemic took place. As soon as they were able to start working on the PAC again, the school board took off working.
Construction of the building was done by Level MB Construction. Garmann Miller worked with MT Studio in designing the new activity center.
The PAC features not only a new court, but a wellness center, locker rooms, a film room, new concession area, school offices, a training room and seating for over 1,700 Patriot fans.
While the activity center is not fully complete, the school hopes to completely finish the project soon. The players will have a chance to break in the new court on Nov. 18 as the girls’ basketball team will host Chaminade Julienne for the first game ever at the PAC, also known as The Battleground.
“For our kids, they’re looking forward to getting out there and hopefully being able to say ‘We won the first game that was played on that court.’ But Chaminade Julienne might have a little something to say about that. We have to make sure we’re preparing,” Gray said. “Our kids are excited. They’re excited to get down here and practice.”
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]