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I realize it was a long time ago but I remember the elementary and high schools I attended had a separate gymnasium and auditorium.  The gymnasium was for athletic events – basketball, volleyball, rope climbing, wrestling, etc.  The auditorium was for the performing arts – plays, musicals, etc.  Occasionally the auditorium was used for school wide assemblies, pep rallies, etc.   As I walk in many of the schools in West County St. Louis I notice that the gymnasium serves double duty.   It is used for athletic events but it also serves as the place where musicals and assemblies are held.  Yet the acoustics are awful in these gymnasiums.  Of course, the acoustics would be awful in a gym because a gym was not built for this purpose.  One middle school has a small obscure stage in the cateferia.  I know my survey is quite small but I just wonder – with gymnasiums out-numbering auditoriums in many of the schools, does that send a subtle message to students: athletics are more important than the arts? 


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