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Will The Last One Leaving The Gym Please Turn Out The Lights?

In with the new and out with the old, but the memories will live forever as the Dundalk High School basketball teams play their final games at the gym and the lights go out.

Officially it's over. 

The Dundalk High School Gym is closing its doors to begin a new chapter in a brand new facility.  

The school hosted its final indoor competitive sports contests Friday night, when its boys' and girls' basketball teams played their final home games.

No more games or cheering crowds but the memories will live on forever in the minds of those who not only played on the gym floor but also for the fans who sat in the bleachers and cheered them on.

This is one of those times I think a sense of loss was not in the numbers posted on the score board but rather in the minds of those who spent their formative years in this building since 1959. 

The night’s events included the final game in the gym for both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams along with a Alumni vs. the Teachers basketball game. 

After the girls game, some awards were passed out to the players whose tears told the whole story.  Coach Rick Armijo seemed very proud of his team’s efforts despite a loss to Patapsco.  It was the sense of the passing of the torch to a new era but not forgetting the old.

Dundalk High Principal Tom Shouldice has always been a gracious man to speak with and I asked him about the move into the new school. he said

“I am looking forward to it and will be glad when it’s over,” he said.

Mr. Shouldice referred to the estimated 25,000 boxes of items such as books, electronic equipment and other supplies and materials that must be packed up and moved.  This does not include furniture.  

Mr. Shouldice also mentioned that by June 24 students from the PATH Program will be in the new school which is on target to open this year.

There is one more event scheduled for the gym which is the Cluster Art Show that will be held there on March 27.  Check Dundalk Patch for more details.  The auditorium officially closes on May 1.

For me it was an interesting evening watching the various events unfold.  I felt as if I was documenting an important part of Dundalk’s history for all those who spent their youth at this school and gym, which will be torn down when the new facility opens.

For example, there were two teachers who taught at Dundalk who met, fell in love and married.   Tracy Ripani, a French and Italian teacher, met George Scheulen, who taught physics and chemistry and was also a baseball coach who won state titles in 1989, ’90 and ’94.  A match made in heaven—well, at Dunalk High School anyway.  They came to reminisce about the fond memories they had while teaching at Dundalk.  George was there for 23 years.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Curtis Smith of the maintenance staff who has been working at the school for 30 years.  He was very helpful in providing me with background information on this article.  You’ll see his photo in one of the 24 that I took.

Principal Shouldice gave credit to math teacher Tammy Ruldolph and Athletic Director Justin Nash for planning this final indoor athletic event.

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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