Score one for the home team.
The new Atlantis Charter School gymnasium is now open, and it’s a game changer for the Atlantis athletic and physical education programs.
The gym features a high school regulation-sized basketball court that will be used for basketball and volleyball. There are bleachers, student locker rooms and offices for the phys ed teachers as well.
Atlantis athletes will now have home-court advantage. They can have home games and practices at their own facility.
With the indoor sports season over, the phys ed classes will be the first to benefit from the new gym.
“My students are over the roof excited,” said phys ed teacher Jonathan Taradash. “They ask me every day, literally they ask me every single day when it’s going to open.”
Taradash has taught phys ed for grades K-4 at Atlantis since the school opened in 1995. He admits that teaching has been challenging at times. The gym at the old Lower School on South Main Street doubled as a cafeteria and had six cement poles running through the center of the room.
“The poles were in the way,” Taradash explained. “It limited the types of activities we could play because I had to keep the kids’ safety in mind. It was frustrating, especially for the older kids in grades three and four. This new gym opens up a whole new idea of phys ed class.”
There were challenges at the other school sites as well. The old middle school gym also doubled as a cafeteria and was surrounded by classrooms, making noise an issue. High school students had to walk to a neighboring building for their phys ed classes, which was less than ideal.
The new gymnasium has a retractable dividing wall, so it can accommodate two phys ed classes at the same time.
“The phys ed program has come full circle,” Taradash said. “I’ve been waiting for 20 years for these new facilities and now we have state of the art facilities and I couldn’t be happier.”
Taradash is looking forward to the fall when he can take his classes out to play on the new turf athletic fields currently under construction.