GOOCHLAND, Va. (WWBT) - The Benedictine Schools’ McMurtrie-Reynolds Pavilion isn’t your garden variety high school gymnasium, and it will be even more impressive when students and fans can crowd into the seats.
The school opened the new facility this fall for basketball season. It features a main floor, auxiliary gym, a sky box and alumni lounge, locker rooms and plenty of seats. It will be the home for Benedictine and St. Gertrude’s going forward, and in a 2020 that’s been challenging for many, the chance to utilize a brand new gym provides a bright spot.
“This is certainly our high of the season, our high of the year and we don’t forget,” said St. Gertrude’s head coach Robyn D’Onofrio. “Everyday we’re grateful for it, we’re thankful for it, we’re thankful for the opportunity.”
“The kids have been through a lot since March,” added Benedictine head coach Mark Royster. “They’re going to figure out a way to enjoy this, as the coaches will as well.”
While the building is now open for games, it won’t have the full experience that designers intended just yet. With fan attendance very limited, many of the seats will remain empty, but when the facility is full of students and spectators, expect a loud and energetic environment.
Coaches and players are thrilled just to be playing a schedule and getting the chance to do so in a state-of-the-art venue adds to that excitement.
“It was surreal,” said Benedictine senior guard Cody Herman of walking to McMurtie-Reynolds for the first time. “They were drawing up the plans the past couple years and just anxious to see what the final product looked like. It didn’t disappoint at all.”
“I was so excited for this season and just the opportunity to play here in this gym,” St. Gertrude’s senior guard Nan Kerner said. “It looks like a college facility. It’s amazing.”
Spectators will enter above the playing floor and bleachers and walk down stairs to their seats. Locker rooms are located at floor level. The new venue also features concession stands and a team store with Cadets and Gators gear.
Benedictine opens its schedule at home on Friday against Atlantic Shores. St. Gertrude’s held its first game on December 8, topping Central Virginia Homeschool.
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