GALVESTON — Plastic sheets still keep the rain from getting in, and the floors and walls are still bare, but the 70 or so members and supporters of the Trinity Episcopal School who gathered in an unfinished building saw something else on Sunday: the fulfillment of a long-standing dream.
On Sunday, a group that included church members, school staff, students and the building’s benefactors gathered to dedicate the school’s new 13,500-square-foot activity center on Tremont Street. The building will officially be called the Robert L. and Ann Moody Activity Center. It was constructed thanks to a $2.7 million grant from the Moody Foundation.
The school broke ground on the building in April but, according to school officials, it’s been on the school’s wish list for almost 30 years.
“We’ve needed it for generations,” said the Rev. David Dearman, the head of the school. “I have an advancement piece from the 1980s, and at that time, it said the greatest need that our school had was a gymnasium.”
During the dedication, Dearman said the Moody family had been longtime supporters of the school, as both alumni and former board members.
Without a gymnasium of its own, the teams at the 200-student school have practiced and played games in other facilities around the city or, if the weather permits, on its outdoor courts. With the new building, that should no longer be an issue.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been here 22 years. You couldn’t name a place in Galveston that we have (not) rented or gotten free,” said Trinity basketball coach Tim Elzner. “It’s great for the kids, and it’s going to be great to get in here and play basketball.”
The building will also be used to host school plays, science fairs, dinners and other assemblies. Its collapsible bleachers will have a capacity of 400 people. The building also will have a concession stand, boys and girls locker rooms, automatically raised basketball hoops and synthetic flooring material that looks like a hard-top court but won’t be damaged by chairs or tables placed on it.
There is still work to be done on the building — including the installation of the floor and details around the outside of the building — but contractor Ed Ristmiller said the building should be completed by mid-February, and there will be no mistaking whose home it is.
“There’s going to be a lot of Trinity green in here,” said Ristmiller.
The end date was perhaps the one piece of disappointing news to come out of Sunday’s ceremony: the school’s currently undefeated boys basketball team complete their season on January 10.