St. Joseph’s Indian School Breaks Ground on Rec Center Renovation

Posted on: April 13, 2023

The Recreation Center at St. Joseph’s Indian School is about to get a makeover. The smell of sage smudge, the rise of prayers, the promise of spring and the scent of fresh earth turned by shovels heralded the start of the renovation to the nearly 50-year-old center on St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus on Thursday, April 13, at 8:30 a.m. Board members and staff from around campus were on hand.

Rec programs that include organized team athletics and recreational activities for students and staff have outgrown the space. Every one of the school’s 200 students uses the Rec Center and learns and benefits from the wellness opportunities provided. In addition, the Rec Center also hosts the school’s summer outreach, the Rising Eagle Day Camp, and other community-based events.

Renovation plans include updates to make the facility more current and improvements to enhance future use: more storage space and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; a second gym allowing for more activities; and a layout that accommodates gymnastics, wrestling, archery and cheer. The current gym will be dedicated to basketball and volleyball. The new addition will include a second basketball court, too. There will be individual offices, more restrooms, a multi-purpose room and exercise spaces for students and staff.

After reflecting on the millions of baskets made in the current structure and the thousands of swims, President Mike Tyrell turned his remarks to the students. He said, “Today is not only about the future possibilities for this building but also the tremendous possibilities in your future. As you watch this new construction, you will see the time it takes to build a strong foundation. Use this Rec Center, your campus homes, your counselor’s office and all of the good things at St. Joe’s to build a solid foundation for yourselves.”

Students, too, are enthused about the renovation. Archery currently takes place in the school gym, which shares space with many other activities. ShyAnne Jumping Eagle noted, “Some of us are really competitive [in archery]. We want to get better. Sometimes it just feels a little too cramped to really get a good practice.

Visitors will want to be mindful of routing and detours when visiting campus over the coming months. As always, count on St. Joseph’s friendly staff to assist with wayfinding.