February 15, 2019
On Thursday, February 14, the MPA community gathered in the Kreischer Gym for one large, nostalgic celebration. One of the four Together, We Dream priorities allows us to create a shared space—a new commons and cafeteria—where Mounds Park Academy students and teachers alike will enjoy meals from a new state-of-the-art kitchen in the space where the Kreischer Gym currently resides.
We were lucky to have several MPA alumni in attendance who say that the Kreischer Gym is featured in some of their fondest school memories.
“I remember the obstacle course from my phy ed class and how fun that unit was weaving through the Kreischer Gym, hopping from one green step aerobics platform to another, running through a tunnel of gym mats, crawling under jump ropes strung across the course, flying through the air on the rope swing, pulling yourself along with the seated scooters, and tumbling down gymnastics mats,” says Nate Bander ’09. “I also remember flying balsa wood gliders in Middle School science, participating in my first Homecoming assembly in seventh grade, and playing on Mr. Brandon’s ninth grade basketball team in the Kreischer Gym.”
Maddy Wolfe ’12 echoes Nate’s sentiments. “The Kreischer Gym was a really fun home to have for all of the spring musicals I was in,” she says. “That’s where we made memories hanging out backstage and getting ready for the performances. I also remember taking a self-defense class in the Kreischer for my senior seminar.”
The alumni present sat atop the wooden bleachers one last time, in excitement with the current students, parents, faculty, and staff as Dr. Hudson, head of school, presented plans for the new cafeteria and commons that will become a new and beloved part of our campus. Starting construction now ensures that MPA has a functional kitchen and cafeteria for the start of the 2019-20 school year in August.
“Oohs” and “ahhs” were heard among the whole community. Through a virtual tour, the renderings for the beautiful spaces were revealed to students and parents for the first time. Much to everyone’s delight, elements like the bleachers and the wooden gym floor will be refinished and repurposed in the new space.
Exhilarated exclamations were exchanged throughout the whole audience as Dr. Hudson led the metaphorical “groundbreaking,” represented by the Panther and students from each division bursting through a cardboard wall. The ceremony ended with an eruption of our school song, generating a burst of energy and joy–perhaps the same way it did at Nate’s first Homecoming assembly years ago.