Renovated Barry Gym Now Truly the Heart of Campus
After more than fifty-years of faithful service, Jesuit’s Father Joseph F. Barry, S.J. Gymnasium was due for a well-deserved renovation. The Barry Gym has been the site of countless life-changing events, both for the individual and for the school. Thousands of Jesuit Marauders passed through the gym’s doors—surrounded by faculty and staff, fellow students and family—for their Baccalaureate and graduation. The gym was affectionately known as the school’s living room—the place where Jesuit’s family came together to compete, to learn, to pray, to celebrate and to mourn.
When it was clear that the hardwood floor that hosted so manyJesuit champions had given all it had to give, when the sound system continued to disappoint, and when the roof “cried out”for attention, plans were made to “redecorate” the living room.
First up: The roof and air conditioning. While it has earned a reputation for being one of Sacramento’s most iconic high school gyms, the Barry Gym, as commonly referred to, was showing its age. When first built, the gymnasium and adjacent annex, or “LittleTheater” as it was known, only had heating.
With an outpouring of support from donors to upgrade the facilities, Phase One was completed in June 2019 and focused on structural improvements and the installation of HVAC units byClarke & Rush. For the first time in its 50 year history, the BarryGym welcomed students to a cool, air-conditioned venue.
“The air conditioning has already improved the space dramatically,” said Principal Dr. Michael Wood ’99. “In previous years, we were forced to cancel events due to heat and this will no longer be the case.”
“Phase Two focused on all the finishes—adding new lighting, a state-of-the-art sound and AV system, new scoreboards, bleachers with a special home section that includes chairs with seatbacks, a fully renovated floor, lobby update, a unique student and alumni Brotherhood Wall and new impressive graphics throughout,” Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J. said. “One of the other exciting things about the project is we renovated and repurposed what was called the ‘Little Theater’ into the ‘Welcome Center.’The whole project was four years in the making from planning and fundraising to design and construction.”
Jesuit finished the $2.9 million project this school year and welcomed students and faculty when in-person orientations and classes began in October 2020.
Even with an on-trend new graphic court design and electronic telescoping bleachers, Jesuit Athletic Director Hank Weinberger believes the Welcome Center is the most important of the renovations.
“The Welcome Center will have the greatest long-term impact on the school,” Weinberger said. “We now have a space that can be the hub for all of our admissions, advancement and alumni events. The Welcome Center will also serve as a great space during games where we will continue to have additional end-court seating and it will now include our snack bar and retail space.”
One cutting-edge feature of the Welcome Center is the installation of five, 72” vertical touch-screen monitors. These visual information centers will allow visitors, students and alumni alike to experience and learn about the history of Jesuit Sacramento, upcoming events, student profiles, awards, championships and more.
The Barry Gym Project campaign has been funded by our generous benefactors including alumni, parents, grandparents and friends. The project construction itself was led by the Board of Trustees Facilities Committee representative, Dave Higgins ’78, and General Contractor Mark Read ’72. Other notable contributors were Willy Park, Brian O’Neill ’00, TimFleming ’77, Bailey Fleming ’10, Clyde Lagomarsino ’73, andJim Mellas, the parent of alum Michael ’10 Matthew ’22.
Varsity Basketball Head Coach Tim Kelly believes the newly renovated gym could increase game attendance.
“Our gym was already a great place to play,” Coach Kelly said. “But, this new and improved space will draw bigger crowds, especially students, and help us have a home-court advantage over opposing teams.”
The floor graphics now tout the traditional red and gold amplified with fierce black baselines, and a refreshed Marauder at center court. A plasma video display board dominates one end and will serve as the main scoreboard and messaging screen lending its impressive size to boost the Galley Crew’s cheering of the Triple-J.
The sound and lighting upgrades in particular will also help Jesuit’s Campus Ministry host all-school Masses.
“We are going to have a lot of new options for our services and retreats,” said Director of Campus Ministry Paul LeBoeuf.
“The large corner drop-down video screens are going to be easier to use, there will be a nice backdrop for Masses, the bleachers will have designated staircases and railings for our students and parents who attend, the sound is going to be great, and we will have a lot of lighting options. There will also be new portable carpet squares put down so the flooring will be more suitable and pleasing than the vinyl mats we previously used.”
A focal point on campus for five decades, the Barry Gym is a place where the school comes together. It is the heart of campus.Even while large gatherings are currently limited because of the pandemic, creative ways to use the space during the school day as a student social center and flex space is heightening morale and the spirit of campus. Moving forward, the benefits of these renovations will be felt throughout the community. The Barry Gym will now provide a dynamic environment for the Jesuit campus to host its many events as well as classic Marauder athletics.Thank you to all who gave generously of their time, talent, or treasure to make this project a legacy for all to enjoy.