Elder’s grotto gets an overdue facelift

Elders grotto gets an overdue facelift

Dating back as long as most people can remember, the Grotto here at Elder is one of the most unique and beautiful things on our campus. Many people would say The Pit, or the Panther Fitness Center, or something that is more common to the public, but the Grotto is a one of a kind design. The Grotto first was planned back about 70 years ago. Thanks to the students from the class of 1950 and 1951, this area was created. Now, in 2021, this area has now been updated and it is something many should see. The Janszen Family

Grotto under construction in 2020-2021

was a huge help during this process. The original design was drawn by Paul Stryker ’28 and the students were helped immensely by Rev. Julian Krusling. Mr. Albers who works with family-run company Joseph Day Inc. has kept the Grotto up to date over the years.

There are many special pieces to the Grotto, but during this face lift there were also many improvements around the general area of the Grotto. There is a garden in the area with lots of plants and mulch and this makes the corner look very nice. Along with that there has also been a very wide set of stairs in the middle leading up to the Schaeper Center and towards the Wrestling-Volleyball Gym and the Panther Fitness Center.

Back down to The Grotto, there is the white statue of The Mother Mary which holds a Rosary in Her hands. Around the sides and back of Mother Mary, there are some more plants hanging up. To top all of this off there is some new brick, a fountain, more parking spaces, and two plaques giving some background history on the Grotto which has been in the same spot for many years. These renovations are all a part of Elder’s upcoming 100 year celebration.

Past and Present football team praying at Grotto after game

A special tradition is after home football games, the team goes back and prays in front of the Grotto. This has been a tradition for many years and will continue to be for a long time. One thing about Elder is there is tradition that no other school has. Dating back 100 years, The Panthers have always stuck to a hard working blue collar attitude, and this is why donors give the money they do. To make these type of special artifacts last for generations. Without the help from Elder Alums, and all donors in general, not nearly as many of these special things at Elder would be the same. It all started from the class of ’50 and ’51, and is carried on through those who continue to help today. Without the help of these people, Elder High School would not be nearly as impactful as they are today.