R.I.P the Gym

R.I.P Father Kelly Gymnasium

In October of 2017, Father W. Kelly Gymnasium was torn down by the brutal hurricane Irma, leaving the gym in ruins. St. Paul’s was now in need of a new gym, and so began the first steps in rebuilding. Demolition began on Monday, December 12th, 2017. Classes were invited to watch part of the demolition; many emotions were felt as students and staff watched the building crumble. For many St. Paul’s families and children, the Gymnasium held many memories. From basketball and doughnuts on Sunday to carnival and rummage sales to Christmas mass and more memories that are lost. Many middle school students were overcome with sadness from the now permanent loss of multiple memories that once occurred in the gym. Even teachers were saddened at the permanent loss of the Father W. Kelly Gymnasium. Although it was a sad time, the demolition was interesting to watch and observe for many of the young grade levels. As the excavator knocked down walls of memories, it also allowed for new memories to fill walls of a new gym. The city of Jacksonville Beach, St. Paul’s Parishoners and St. Paul’s student families look forward to the new gym that will stand tall representing the greatness of St. Paul’s Catholic School and Church, continuing with Mrs. Thompson’s 2017-2018 motto to be “GREATER.”

Article and photos by Charli Esposito

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