On Saturday November 30, 2019, Lutheran High School West celebrated the conclusion of the "I Believe in West" campaign. The campaign centered around facility renovations to several existing spaces inside the school.
The Library, originally constructed in the 1970s, had been called the IMC (Instructional Media Center) for many years. The space was fully renovated and now boasts a "collegiate library feel," with new paint, carpet, furnishings, and the addition of three dedicated tutoring rooms at the back of the library. Since the opening of the new library, students have been utilizing the tutoring rooms to receive extra help with specific subject areas, test preparation, and much more. The space was furnished with new 4-person tables along with multiple clusters of comfortable reading chairs, which students have been using for group study, conversation, and downtime. The librarians, Mrs. Patti Naim and Mrs. Judy Pflaum, have worked incredibly hard to elevate the curriculum of the library through the addition of library programs and offerings such as Book Club, Reading Challenge, a prayer wall, a robust selection of online databases and resources, "brain break" activities for students like coloring pages and puzzles, displays of student artwork, and much more.
The area just outside the main office, previously considered a senior lounge, has now been enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass walls and serves as a new Admissions Center. This space, outfitted with modern red and black comfortable furniture, is now where the Admissions Office welcomes and conversates wtih prospective families, begins and ends tours and student shadow days, and showcases the school though a digital screen slideshow and our Admissions brochures.
The main office suite received a fresh coat of paint throughout, plus new carpeting and reception desks. The office of the Alumni Director, Debi Albrecht '85, was also moved to the main office.
Across from the main office is an office suite that has served a variety of purposes throughout the years, including the home of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association (CLHSA) and Superintendent. This set of offices is now the school's new Student Life Center, housing the offices of the Assistant Principal and the Attendance Secretary.
Through the "I Believe in West" Campaign, The Rock Gymnasium was the recipient of a complete overhaul. Updates to the gym included floor refinishing, repainting of the walls and ceiling, new LED lighting with controls that allow pre-set lighting modes for various purposes (Chapel, different athletic events, etc.), new wall pads behind each hoop, large-scale longhorn branding and signage thoughout the facility, udpated league signage, and the addition of a large championship graphic featuring the championships of Longhorn teams throughout our school's history. One of the most significant upgrades to the gym is the addition of digital scoreboards, one of which includes a large digital video screen. With this technology, we will now be able to display graphics, videos, and advertisements inside the facility. The scoreboards also include dedicated space for the logos of our anchor sponsors: Buffalo Wild Wings, Malloy & Esposito, Earl Gentile Hearing Services, Modern Chiropractic & Wellness, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, and Wegman Hessler.
A special addition to the gym was a permanent large-scale sign dedicated to Karen Wittrock, the namesake of the Wittrock Gymnasium. Under Karen's name, the sign reads "Teacher. Coach. Servant Leader." All those who have had the privilege to know Karen throughout her many years of ministry at Lutheran West know that these words embody who she is and what she continues to contribute to our community. We are, and always will be, immensely proud of Karen's exceptional accomplishments with our women's basketball program. But Karen will be the first to tell you that her greatest accomplishments are in the relationships she's built with students, players, and families. She is the epitome of a true servant leadership, displaying humility, generosity, and service to others and to God. This is a concept we strive to instill in our students daily, and our school community is blessed to have a role model like Karen.
The Saturday evening event featured a donor reception in the school's Thrivent Room, with messages from Principal Mike Waugh '02, Superintendent & CEO Chris Steinmann '00, Director of Development Ashley Koza, and Alumni Director/Special Events Coordinator Debi Albrecht '85. Guests enjoyed a catered appetizer spread before walking throughout the school to see the renovations first-hand, with a final stop in the Wittrock Gymnasium for the rededication of the gym to Karen Wittrock followed by a girls' varsity basketball game against Cleveland Central Catholic.
To all of the generous donors who made the "I Believe in West" Campaign a success, we thank you wholeheartedly. We believe in providing the very best Christ-centered educational experience for our students, and we are so grateful that you believe, too.
Please enjoy this photo gallery from Saturday's event: