By Don Bradley
When the Red Bridge YMCA closed earlier this year, Rockhurst High School was faced with finding a new home for its swim and dive teams.
They didn’t look far. They bought the place.
On Monday, August 8, at 5:30 pm, the school will celebrate the opening of the Goppert Rock Plex at the former YMCA site at 11300 Holmes Rd. The transition work from public fitness center to school use wrapped just in time for the new school year.
“Our facilities group worked really hard to get the space ready with everything from mechanical to pool maintenance to roof repairs and a lot of cosmetic work as well,” said Robbie Haden, Rockhurst spokesperson.
The YMCA of Greater Kansas City announced in December it would close the facility after a half-century because of falling membership due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision sent not only Rockhurst scrambling but also other schools that had used the facility.
Again, they didn’t scramble far.
Rockhurst said the school is working with St. Teresa’s Academy, Center High School and Notre Dame de Sion on rental agreements, and that outside groups may also be part of the mix at the newly repurposed facility.
The Goppert Foundation and the McDonnell Foundation aided Rockhurst in the purchase of the facility. The school has won 13 state championships since 2004.
“We will continue to do improvements throughout the year and have a multi-year plan on upgrades and improvements to make sure it meets the needs of our swim and dive community,” Haden said.