A new era in Augusta Preparatory Day School athletics began Aug. 18 with the dedication and opening of the school's athletic facility, the Boardman Athletic Center.
The 24,000-square-foot center is attached to the school's old gym and opened to a pep rally and dedication ceremony.
"The true glory of today is that this is not a dream but a dream come true," Augusta Prep's Head of School Jack Hall said to the crowd of current and former students who attended the ceremony.
Immediately after Hall led a guided tour and ribbon-cutting ceremony, the gym erupted with noise as the Augusta Prep cheerleaders excited the crowd, which included the entire lower, middle and upper school student body.
"It's a good first test for the bleachers," Augusta Prep basketball coach Mike Guthrie said as the pupils stomped their feet in the stands and chanted, "Let's go, Prep."
The athletes who will use the gym have already taken to the court for practices.
"I've been waiting for this since I can't remember when," junior volleyball player Nicole Abbott said. "It's a bright, happy gym. You wouldn't think that would matter, but when it's darker it messes with your depth perception."
Abbott and the rest of the Lady Cavaliers put the gym to good use Tuesday in the facility's first official sports event.
The Augusta Prep volleyball team began the new era in a fitting fashion with a dominant 3-0 sweep over Monsignor Donovan, a first-year varsity team out of Athens, Ga.
The first Augusta Prep victory in the gym came in front of a packed house.
"We had more fans at our JV game than we've ever had at a varsity game," volleyball coach Rich Bland said.
The gym features two full-size volleyball courts with a retractable net between them. The facility, coupled with the still-active old gym, allowed the school to make a bid as the host team for the Georgia Independent Schools Association state volleyball championships this fall. In the summer, that bid was accepted by the GISA.
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