Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Vandermeer Gym 2717 S Morgantown Rd Greenwood, IN 46143
Year Opened: 1995 Capacity: 4,000
Everything is Dandy at the Vandy Gym
The Vandermeer Gym is the home of the Center Grove High School Trojans basketball program. It's located in Greenwood, Indiana, 20 minutes south of Indianapolis. The school dedicated its new basketball arena in January 1996 after Melvin Vandermeer. He coached the Trojans from 1955 to 1958 and later served as principal from 1960 to 1978.
When it opened, the gym sat 4,800 but scaled down to 4,000 by 2019. The massive venue has seating on all three sides and includes an upper seating bowl, four concession stands, and easy access from the immense parking lot. It also features two playing courts behind the collapsible bleachers and a walking track on the upper level.
The high school has been on the same site since opening in 1884. The original structure burned down on November 1, 1952. The fire also destroyed the basketball gym, and there was a thought to cancel the rest of the season. The team would win later that day on the road in nearby Whiteland in overtime. The only items that survived were the Trojans white home uniforms.
A new school and gym were designed by Evansville architect Ralph Legeman and dedicated on December 14, 1954. The high school has expanded since that day almost 70 years ago. The West Gym now serves as an auxiliary gym and will host boys' and girls' JV and freshman games and events during the Johnson County basketball tournament.
Food & Beverage 3
There are multiple concession stands, but not all are open, depending on the size of the crowd. The upper concession stand is off in the corner from the main grandstand. The area houses the usual treats found at high school games across the state: hot dogs, nachos, pizza slices, popcorn, soda pop, candy, and other sweets. The gym does offer an impressive ice cream cup with an assortment of toppings.
The Vandy Gym is an impressive-looking facility that looks like it was built more recently than in 1995. The lights are bright, the school colors appear freshly painted, and the center scoreboard appears up-to-date. Visitors walk through a massive hallway lobby into the lower bowl on all four sides.
Visitors sit on the west side of the court, and the cheer block takes residence underneath the basket on the north side near the cheerleaders. The cheer block makes its presence with multiple cheers and synchronized chants throughout the game. Home fans make a lot of noise from their section of the gym.
Center Grove did not have a band during our visit, but it was a back-and-forth contest that was settled in overtime and had a heartbreaking final play that saw the Trojans call by one point. The game featured dunks, blocked shots, three-pointers, and layups that saw players fall to the floor.
Center Grove High School is in Greenwood, about 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. It is in a residential neighborhood, close to the Greenwood Mall, 15 minutes east of the high school. This area offers an array of regional and national chain restaurants, shops, and other points of interest.
The crowd is lively during Trojans games that feature a student cheer block that offers synchronized cheers and chants, home fans that rally their section during points of the game, and, for this game, a fervent visiting section.
The high school and gym are a few miles east of SR-37/Future I-69. The school has a large parking lot and main lobby, leading visitors inside the gym. Bathrooms and concessions are on both levels of the gym, and crowds are too crowded to cause congestion inside the seating bowl or concourse.
Return on Investment 3
The ticket price is $6, concessions are between $3-$5 for most items, and the hometown fans add to the excitement. Center Grove High School is a short drive from downtown Indianapolis, making it an easy way to enjoy Indiana high school basketball.
The gym earns a point for naming the gym after former principal Melvin Vanermeer. The venue earns a second point for having the old West Gym open and used for games. There is a chance that fans can peek inside the former home of the Trojans from 1954 to 1995 during a visit. The last point is for the cheer block, an impressive group of students cheering on their team from the stands.
The Vandermere gym is an impressive facility for high school basketball in Indiana. Its proximity to Indianapolis and its energetic fan base make it an easy choice during the basketball season.