On Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, Ranney School dedicated the SCHMELZ LOBBY in the Gerhard Pavilion for Athletics and recognized those who supported the extensive renovations to Ranney's premiere athletic facility. The GPA is the hub of Ranney's physical education and athletic activity used by students across divisions and where the Ranney community gathers to celebrate traditions and where students form lifelong friendships, learn good sportsmanship, and hone their talents. Ranney believes strongly in the power of athletics to build resilience, character and teamwork skills. The upgrades to the GPA create a welcoming and vibrant space for all Ranney students to train and discover the joys of physical education.
The Schmelz Lobby features a contemporary open floor plan, new office spaces, custom trophy cases, flexible seating, and digital displays to highlight student achievement. In addition, Ranney completely refurbished the boys' and girls' locker rooms, installed new banners in the gymnasium, and upgraded hallways and guest facilities. Future planned enhancements include additional seating and rotating artwork.
"Thanks to the remarkable generosity of John Schmelz and his wife Diane, who is a Board Member and Chair of the Development Committee, for making this space possible," said Head of School Dr. Griffith. "The Schmelz family has been part of the Ranney community for more than 25 years and we are delighted to honor their extraordinary commitment to our school with the naming of this lobby."
"Positive forward thinking in athletics began while my older children attended Ranney and we as a school have strived to continually improve," said Diane Schmelz (William ('06), Brittany ('08), and Brooke '21). "I believe the improvements to the GPA mark significant progress in Ranney's athletic program and help prepare students for athletics beyond its corridors!"
The project was also made possible thanks to the generosity of former Ranney parents Mark and Denise Rohl (Remi '15, Peri '12). As President of ROHL
, Mark donated the fixtures used to completely upgrade the locker rooms, showers, sinks, and guest facilities.
The renovations were also supported by Ranney parents Tom and Leann Boyan (Madison '14, Jack ('16), Abigail '18, Thomas '20), Ramil and Maria Bhatnagar (Deven '21, Krishan '23, and Karina '28) and Anthony Cafaro and Hayley Lehrfeld (Laura '18, Jill '22) along with generous gifts from the Class of 2017 and the Barthwal, Godek, Pagoumian, and Salvador families as well as many other donors to the Ranney Fund. Alumna Andrea Rosen '90, Encon Company, and the Andiorio, Chropuvka, Egol, Lennon, Nivera, and Torpey families also contributed to the success of the project by sponsoring lockers for the refurbished locker rooms.
The Ranney School Parents' Association and everyone who attended last year's Panther Ball are also to thank as the proceeds from the event supported the renovations.
Ranney parent and Board Member Christian Giordano, president of architectural firm Mancini Duffy, and his wife Nina, owner of Design Brands LLC, designed and envisioned the improved spaces.
"We really appreciate the support and help to build Panther Pride by giving our students the opportunity to train, play, build friendships and develop skills in this new and improved space," said Ranney Athletic Director Natalie Gorman. "As a new member of the Ranney team, I am happy to be part of such a supportive community. It has been fantastic to see the project progress from an idea to a reality."