Edinburgh Gymnasium – Edinburgh Lancers
Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Edinburgh Gymnasium 202 Keeley St. Edinburgh, IN 46124
Edinburgh Community Schools website
Year Opened: 1958
A Source of Community Pride in Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Lancers have been playing high school basketball at its gymnasium since tipping off against Mooresville High School on November 15, 1958. At the time of its construction, the town’s population was 3,200 and its gym sat 2,456. Its style was of the “sunken gym” variety made popular during the decade by Evansville architect Ralph Legeman. His gym cost just under $500,000 and included new dressing rooms and locker rooms for both the boys and girls' programs.
It was one of 15 new venues that opened up in the state that year that included facilities in Orleans, Whiteland, Columbia City, Evansville Reitz, and Eminence. The state was in a basketball gym frenzy and Edinburgh was no different, more than 60 years after its completion, the home of the Lancers is a vital part of the community.
Before the town’s new gym basketball games fans would squeeze into what they called “The Pit”. The conditions were cramped and steel girders obstructed views of the court. The boys’ biggest moment at the old building was capturing the regional and sectional championships in 1951.
Before opening the new gym for basketball, the school changed its colors from maroon to red and white in 1956 and also adopted the Lancers nickname in favor of the Maroons. The new nickname beat out the Highlanders and Scotties. The new gym was part of the forward-thinking for the school that was going through a lot of changes in the late 1950s. The gym itself held commencement ceremonies for the Class of 1958–six months before its first basketball games.
Today the gym holds a crowd of 2,080 and the population has risen close to 5,000 but the Edinburg Gymnasium is still the source of pride in the community. Thousands of basketball games have been staged from regular-season contests to sectional tournaments. If one would dare utter the words of building a new gym the public would most likely cringe at such a thought. The gym was built to last and many wouldn’t have it any other way.
Food & Beverage 4
The tiny arena offers something that many facilities of its kind do not offer, multiple concession areas of sales. The main concession stand is directly outside the seating area offering the usual products found at many other high schools in the state. All products range between $1 to $3 with Chick-fil-A sandwiches topping off at around $4.25 a sandwich. The main concession area is large enough to handle larger crowds and the two stands inside the seating bowl offer a little more variety of snacking options at the game: fresh-baked cookies (4 for $1) and pizza slices and cotton candy ($2 each).
The gym has all the elements of a classic sunken gym but is much smaller than the big boys in New Castle and Huntingburg. The facilities offer 9 rows of permanent seating with an about 15-20 foot concourse that wraps around the seating bowl. The walls are decorated with Johnson County championship banners dating back to the early 1930s along with conference opponents' banners and local business ads
Two Final Four banners hang from the rafters, one for the 2012 basketball team, and banners honoring two former players who are enshrined in the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame: Moses Pruit (Class of 1916) and Bill Depp (Class of 1957). Depp’s, whose number is also retired by the school, 65 points and 31 rebound effort against Charlottesville his senior season is still a school record.
The student section is packed with Lancer fans standing on the edge of their seats and the rest of the seating is full of residents who have been making their way to the gymnasium for the past seven decades. There are a series of speckled lighting hanging from the ceiling, a series of doors that provide easy exits after the game, and there are many who might be here just to socialize with friends and families.
The usual sights and sounds that can be found heard include cheerleaders, students turning their backs when the opposing team is introduced, banners of other schools in the conference, and people filling themselves up with snacks from the concession stand. The sunken gyms all have the same features and their designs are mass-produced but do not let that fool you, there is a charming element here in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh consists of 4,800 residents and is about 30 minutes south of Indianapolis on US-31 or I-65. The town is known mostly for the Outlet Mall which bears the city's name and is visible off the interstate. Here, visitors can find discounted merchandise and plenty of places to eat and sleep during their visit.
The Great American Grill, Max & Erma’s, and Montana Mike’s Steakhouse are just a few of the dining options near the outlet mall’s parking lot. Lodging options include Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Best Western.
The town does feature a historic district that is one block offering a few bars and retail options, along with El Jefe Mexican restaurant just around the corner. Hickory Hills BBQ is on US-31 offering smoked meat by the pound and sandwiches in a simple décor establishment, but it is closed for a period during the year.
Lancer’s fans are a notable bunch who enjoy a winner, not surprisingly when their team is scoring in bunches they cheer in unison raising the roof and the decibel level in the building. However, when the Lancers are in the funk, the fervor of frustration can also be heard from these same fans.
The gymnasium is easy to get around since it consists of only one main concourse, but during heavily attended games, the crowds can become congested during half-time concession visits or when fans exit the building. Thankfully numerous doors open up to the main street outside the gym to ease congestion woes. There are ample-sized bathrooms located outside of the gymnasium’s entrance in the school’s lobby and its location near I-65 and SR-31 makes for easy access by car.
Return on Investment 3
The price of a ticket to a regular-season game is $5, much in line with the rest of the schools in the state. The concession prices are affordable, varied, and spaced out nicely to ease traffic for visitors looking for the elusive in-game snack.
One point is given to the three concession areas that all serve different items. The second point for the looking pretty good for its age, the seats are remodeled, the aisles are nicely waxed, and the place looks as sharp as when it opened over 60 years ago. The third point is for the tall water tower reads “Home of the Lancers" which is visible to all motorists in town.
The Edinburgh Gym ranks up there with some of the state’s great small sunken gyms that still provide an ideal home for basketball 50-70 years after they have been constructed. The school’s location off the interstate is close enough to Indianapolis that attending a game is simple and easy. A nice way to spend an evening with 2,000 friends.
Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com