Elder’s most historic building

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Elder High School has been transforming ever since the fall of 1922.  The high school has been a construction project for nearly 100 years.  Administration and alumni alike try to give Elder students the best facilities and resources to create a better learning and athletic environment.

Elder is no stranger to building bigger and better things.  Elder has built the Wrestling Gym, North Wing, Schaeper Center, Field House, and the nationally renowned gridiron, The Pit.  The only building that was built alongside the original school building was The Edward “Tank” Donohoe Center.

The Donohoe Center has changed its function many times in Elder’s prestigious history.  At the time of its creation, the Donohoe Center was not home to weights and Elder spirit.

Elder High School’s history filled basketball team started knocking down jumpers in 1924, two years after the school was formed.  The Donohoe Center was the original field house for the Panthers.  It is hard to imagine that there was a full sized basketball court in this building, but the original field house was in fact known as “one of the largest and finest basketball courts in Cincinnati.”

The locker room was located in the basement of the gym, which is now blocked off by a gate.  The entrance to the locker room entailed a steep flight of stairs with narrow steps.  The entrance to the showers was a short doorway, which was not suitable for the big fellas that would be playing on the hard wood.

Senior Mike Jones, sharp shooter for the Panthers, could not imagine playing in the Donohoe Center.

“It’s really small like Holy Family’s gym,” said Jones.  “The sprints would be a lot easier though.”

The Panthers moved into what is now the wrestling/ volleyball gym in 1959.  The gym was originally built for basketball, and the wrestling team found comfort in the gym in 1963 when Coach Bob Konkoly created Elder’s first team.    The Field House was created in 1980, and it has been Elder’s 6th man to this day.

After the hoops were taken down, the former gymnasium took on an academic role for Elder.  The building was transformed into the library.  At the time, the Schaeper center was not even thought of.  The property that the Schaeper center sits on was home to a Super X convenience store.   The Donohoe Center encompassed the library until the high-tech Schaeper Center was built in 2002.

Senior Michael Caldwell works in the library, said, “I go in there to look up references, and I use the library for studying.”

Today The Edward “Tank” Donohoe Center is a building that rarely is empty.  Students are either working out or purchasing an item in the bookstore.  The weight room was previously located on a stage in the wrestling/volleyball gym, and it was upgraded when it finally moved to the Donohoe Center.  The state of the art weight room moved in right as the library packed away its final books.  This weight room allows teams to train for their upcoming sports seasons.

The Elder bookstore is also located in the entrance of the building, and this is where Elder students can buy anything from Elder socks to Elder jackets. The locker room which was underneath the gym floor now stores priceless sports memories behind its locked doors.

The building that has stood alongside Elder’s west wing for over 90 years is filled with history and tradition which will stand the test of time.