Gray Collegiate breaks ground on new athletic complex, classrooms

There will be a new place to play at Gray Collegiate Academy.

Gray hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for $17 million in new additions to its West Columbia campus on Friday. The school will soon begin construction on a new 30,000 sq-ft. gym; a new athletic complex including football and baseball fields; and a 9,000 sq-ft. academic wing featuring six new classrooms. Three of the new classrooms will be college-standard science labs.

West Columbia Councilwoman Casey Hallman is the assistant principal at Gray. She was on hand for the groundbreaking. Lexington County Councilman Glen Conwell, of West Columbia, was also on hand for the groundbreaking.

Todd Helms, founder of the school, said the new football stadium is scheduled to be ready in the fall. Completion of the rest of the additions will follow. He also said the upgrades are monumental. 

“We’ve talked about this day since the very beginning, when we opened the doors to Gray in 2014,” Helms said. “This is the culmination of our ongoing plan for excellence.” 

Adams Holmes, Gray’s head football coach and athletic director said the new additions are part of the plan he envisioned when he came to  Gray eight years ago.  He also said the school’s teams, that have won three state basketball championship under Coach Dion Bethea and the 2021 state football title, have persevered even though they have had to adjust. 

“We never made excuses about not having facilities,” said Holmes. “There were times  in our first few years when were busing kids to practice 10 miles away.” But, Holmes said, that will change.  

“Now, every day, everytime there is an event at Gray, it will be here on campus,” he said. “We can all celebrate. we can all come together.” 

Gray unveiled  its new  $500,000 weight room in August of 2020.