Tornado-hit gym in Illinois has storied history - KMOV.com

Tornado-hit gym in Illinois has storied history

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

GILLESPIE, Ill. (AP) -- A high school in southwestern Illinois is planning to rebuild its tornado-damaged gymnasium, a beloved community gathering place with a storied history dating back to the 1920s.

The Gillespie High gymnasium was hit May 31 by an EF2 tornado with winds of up to 115 mph. Part of the roof blew off, walls crumpled and a weight room was destroyed.

No one was seriously injured, but there was sadness over the damage to the gym, which opened in 1928.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it's believed to be one of the oldest continually used gymnasiums in Illinois.

Besides basketball games, it has seen dances, graduations, plays, concerts and rallies during World War II.

Al Capone is even reported to have watched a basketball game there in the 1930s.

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