New Trier's Gates Gymnasium to finish strong

Updated 12/8/2021 5:38 PM

Making way for new athletic and academic spaces at New Trier's east campus in Winnetka, the high school's classic Gates Gymnasium is coming to the end of its 93-year run.

The gym, built in 1928 for $675,000, will host two more events before groundbreaking for the new construction.


Collectively titled "A December to Remember," one of the events already occurred on Dec. 4, an open house and commemoration that included tours of the campus and drawings of the new buildings.

Remaining is the New Trier Winter Music Festival at 3 p.m. Dec. 12. A combined effort of jazz, band, choir and orchestra, this will be the 104th performance of the festival -- and the last at Gates Gymnasium.

Tickets to the Winter Festival will be reserved for families of the performing students, but livestreaming will be available on the New Trier Television website.

On Dec. 16 at 5:45 p.m., New Trier will induct new members into its Athletic Department Hall of Honor. This year's class features outstanding former Trevians coaches.

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They are cross country coach Ben Almaguer, golf coach Gary Groh, baseball coach Ron Klein and badminton coach Deborah Ofcky, who also has been inducted into the Illinois Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame.

In a ceremony held on Alumni Night, the inductees will be honored between the girls and boys basketball games against Evanston, which will be the final games played at Gates Gymnasium. The teams will play subsequent games at the main gym in the Northfield campus.

Approved by the New Trier Board of Education this past January after more than a year of study, the Gates Gymnasium and a circa-1925 boiler plant will be replaced with a new, multipurpose facility.

The new project will include a multipurpose competition gym, 6-lane indoor track, 12 new classrooms, auxiliary gyms, strength and conditioning rooms, a climbing wall and a high ropes course.

Some elements from Gates, including the distinctive curved "barrel roof," will be included in the new design.

The project is scheduled to be finished by the start of the 2023-24 school year.

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