“Level the Field, Raise the Bar”: Prep Adds Finishing Touches to Remodeled Gym Space


Tia Flores, Co-Online Editor

In Fall 2019, Seattle Prep opened its newly refurbished McHugh Gym with the creation of the Lico Athletic Complex. The new space included a redesigned lobby, trainers’ spaces, the Panther Place school store, new boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, men’s and women’s faculty locker rooms, and a redone athletic hall of fame. This was a part of phase 1 of Prep’s “Level the Field, Raise the Bar” campaign.

This school year, Prep added its final touches to the updated gym space.

In this project, #rollPrep, a Panther mascot head detailing, and AMDG logos have been added to all locker room entrances. A Panther with “Panther Pride” lettering has also been added in the locker rooms. “This adds to the overall Prep spirit. The goal was to create a space that when you walked in, it was clear this is home to the Panthers and that we are all proud to be Panthers,” said Assistant Director of Student Life & Athletics, Melissa White.

Record boards, which are still being completed, were also added to the gym hallway that leads from the locker rooms to the Rudolph backfield. There are individual record boards for each Prep boys and girls sports teams combined. They read “Boys & Girls Soccer,” and “Boys & Girls Golf,” for example, and will contain top school times and individual statistics in each sport. White believes that “these will be a great addition to showcase the great work of our current and former Panther Athletes.”

The State Championship Wall in the gym was also modernized. The panther logo in the middle was updated and repainted, and blue tiles have been added to both sides of the panther log that have State Championship years for their respective Prep sports teams.

Before the update, the state championship teams and years were smaller and were painted onto the wall on either side of the panther logo. “It needed to be updated and to be emphasized,” said White. “It pops off the wall and visually draws your attention to the State Championships. Winning a State Championship is a pretty big deal, so it is a great way to celebrate these wins.”

Prep Assistant Director of Student Life and Athletics Ms. White, Prep Athletic Director Mr. Reed, Assistant Principal for Student Life Mr. Kelly, and School President Mr. Hickey were all involved in the project process.

Seattle Prep’s next big athletic construction project involves the addition of the multi-use Merlino Center and the relocation of the existing Rudolf Athletic Field to Prep’s undeveloped property on Delmar Drive’s north side. These additions are phase 2 of Prep’s “Level the Field, Raise the Bar” campaign,” in which White says, “are going to be a great addition to our campus.”

The Merlino Center will have a 5,000 square foot two-level weight room and training area. This addition will turn Prep’s current weight room in Adelphia hall into three new academic-focused spaces. The Merlino Center will also have athletic practice spaces for multiple sports (volleyball, tennis, track, basketball, and baseball/softball batting cages), spaces for multiple activities (PULSE dance team, robotics tournaments, grade-level meetings, lunch overflow, and social events), and other capacity for HEX (Health and Exercise Science) classes.

In addition, Rudolph field will be expanded into a 110 ft. by 65 ft. infilled synthetic turf field and will hold a full-size soccer practice area. Key features of the field include a futsal field with portable goals, a synthetic turf pole vault runway with concrete vault board pads, a synthetic turf long jump, runway and sand jump pit, and a synthetic turf hill climb.

Construction of the Merlino Center will begin in Fall 2021 and construction of the Rudolf Athletic Field will begin in late Spring 2021.

“This new multi-use facility presents an incredibly exciting opportunity for Prep. Over the last ten years our enrollment has increased by 100 students and we have added over 20 co-curricular programs,” said Prep principal Dr. Erin Luby. “Our diversely talented student body will greatly benefit from a new facility that addresses their needs and inspires students to continue to live out the magis.”

“The Merlino Center is the perfect solution,” said Luby.