VanderSlice Gymnasium – By: Morgan Oakes

 For over a century the district of Grandville has been spreading amazing Grandville Bulldog positivity throughout the community. The VanderSlice Gymnasium is one of the high school’s two gyms, but this gymnasium is special. Chris VanderSlice was a former principal at the school who fought a long and hard battle with cancer, when he unfortunately lost his battle the staff, students and community didn’t take any hesitation in naming one of the schools gyms after him in his honor. “The VanderSlice gym is a place the students and staff come together to celebrate in the loudest ways but also be able to be so quiet you can hear a pin drop,” states Mr. AdamLancto, the current principal at GHS. 

Two of the biggest events the school celebrates in the gym is the annual homecoming assembly and senior assembly. As someone who helps orchestrate the homecoming assemblies, Marlee Remenap says that she “Loves bringing the school together and getting everyone excited for the dance”. The homecoming is filled with many competitions between each grade but also crowning the homecoming king and queen, 2 senior students who represent their school well. As a freshman your first time being with your whole school is during your first homecoming assembly, some saying one of the most memorable experiences of their high school career. But one of your last experiences with your whole school is also in the VanderSlice gym for your senior assembly. Mr.Lancto remembers giving his first senior assembly speech, sitting back and looking at everyone in the gym and understanding what it means to send the seniors off and knowing it is something he will never forget. 

Gathering in the VanderSlice gym is something staff and students have been doing for many years, sharing some of the most exciting and heart wrenching moments together. Mr.Kleinheksel remembers the day that Mr.VanderSlice took a surprise trip back to the school to be able to participate in the homecoming assembly during his battle with cancer, and remembers the excitement all the staff and student body had. One of the harder moments the community shared was when Mr.Vanderslice passed away and his funeral was held in the gym. It was a time of sadness but a time that many people remember the community coming together to support each other and a family who needed it but also celebrating and remembering all the amazing things he did for the community. Now staff and students continue to gather in his gym to celebrate everything that makes Grandville special. Students at GHS are encouraged to go all out and participate in any activities being held in the VanderSlice Gym, but especially at the homecoming assemblies, because students only have four during their high school career! This kind of involvement is what made Mr. VanderSlice is so proud to be a bulldog. Mr. VanderSlice thought it was to remember why it’s important to have school spirit and show that Grandville pride.

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