Fit for the occasion

Menlo School opens its new athletic center

Click on pictures to enlarge and see captions.

Finally, a home for the Knights. After years of sharing a gym with Menlo College, Menlo School has a handsome new 54,000-square-foot athletic center of its own.

The $18 million building was completed in 14 months, just in time for the beginning of the school year, with opening ceremonies held Aug. 24. The bi-level complex will accommodate the school's basketball and volleyball teams and provide fitness and training rooms.

The center features two courts, with complete support facilities so that the middle school and high school can hold events at the same time. The center, which includes the main court and the west court, can be set up for one NCAA regulation-size basketball court with bleacher seating for nearly 1,000, or three full-size basketball courts or four regulation-size volleyball courts.

"All Menlo athletes will benefit from this incredible new facility," says Craig Schoof, athletic director and basketball coach. "While it is great for our volleyball and basketball teams ... all sports will benefit from the performance and fitness centers and have a place to practice when they are rained out."

The girls' volleyball team gets first play on the courts when it meets San Mateo High School in a non-league match in its home opener Sept. 9.

The wellness center is located on the building's upper level. It includes a performance room for weight-lifting, a fitness room containing cardiovascular equipment, and a training room to help students recover from injuries.

There are also two rooms for health education and a multipurpose room for yoga, Pilates, aerobics and martial arts.

The center will also be used for all-school assemblies. It is equipped with a projection screen, audio-visual technology and theater lighting. A Hall of Fame walkway from the lobby to the gym showcases trophies and Knights memorabilia.

Kevin Hart Architecture of San Francisco designed the center, with Tim Morshead as lead designer. Construction was by Vance Brown Builders of Palo Alto.

Menlo School is a private coeducational college preparatory school for grades 6 through 12 located at 50 Valparaiso Ave. in Atherton.

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