“It’s hard to imagine this was an old gym,” Keynote speaker and former music teacher Darrell Willson said. “They’ve done a great job with this place.”
And it did used to be a gym, according to West Platte senior Claire Verbeck. Wrestling, basketball, pinewood derbies — all that and more used to be in the space the performing arts center now occupies.
But it was a bumpy road to get the performing arts center, which met with a couple speedbumps, including the discovery of a fire which burned the old gym in the mid-1950s. The original support beams were uncovered by contractors in the demolition phase, much to the surprise of the school board. West Platte Superintendent Kyle Stephenson told The Citizen in August 2011 that he speculated while it would never happen today, not replacing the beams was probably done to save money on reconstruction.
To read more, pick up the Jan. 25 edition of The Platte County Citizen.