Campus expansion a slam dunk

More than 100 people gathered Wednesday morning at South Pasadena Middle School to celebrate its new gym and library. 

The two new buildings are the jewels in the crown of a campus expansion effort that began with a school construction bond in 2002.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star A.C. Green, who holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192, was on hand to make the ceremonial first basket in the expansive new gym. The facility has a 144-foot by 80-foot play space and eight retractable basketball hoops, accommodating full-court team play allowing four simultaneous smaller-scale games.

“Physical education shapes character and builds kids’ futures. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a team or what sport, it’s just getting in the habit of doing something physical every day,” said Green, 47.

The new campus library was dedicated to Jo Saeta, who died earlier this year. Saeta had served as the district’s curriculum director and president of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, which donated the library’s computers. She was also the mother of former South Pasadena Mayor David Saeta.

“No one loved to read more than my grandma. She’d be more than honored,” said Andrew Saeta, 20.

South Pasadena Mayor Mike Ten, an alumnus of the school and one of many city officials in attendance, praised the campus expansion effort as a milestone in cooperation between the city and the school district.

“This space reflects the community and the commitment we all have to education,” said South Pasadena Middle School PTA President Julie Giulioni.

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