Glades Day School Athletic Facilities


Robert L. Mace Athletic Center for Basketball and Volleyball


The following text was copied from the program of the dedication of the Robert L. Mace Athletic Center December 1, 1997.

Since its founding over thirty years ago, Robert L. Mace has been a major benefactor of Glades Day School. Throughout lhe years Bob has given of his time, his talent, and his assets to insure that Glades Day School could successfully pursue its mission of delivering quality education at an affordable price.

Tonight we formally open the Robert L. Mace Athletic Center in McWhorter Hall marking the completion of a fantastic reconstruction and remodeling project involving the school's gymnasium, locker rooms, training facilities, and athletic offices. The Glades Day School Board of Trustees has so named this Center in recognition of the extiaordinary generosity of Bob Mace over the years and his specific sponsorship of this construction effort.

Sports have always been important to Bob ... from his childhood days in Ohio, where he was a star athlete in several sports, to his service in the United States Navy, where he never let a baseball get too far out of his reach. Even as a businessman, helping to pioneer the sod industry in the Glades, Bob continued to be actively involved in sports and could often be seen behind home plate, catching for the championship softball team that carried his name. Bob continued to play softball competitively at an age when most men would have long since retired to the living room recliner!

In addition to sports, helping young people has long been a passion of Bob Mace. Over the years, Bob's commitinent to helping young people participate in sports has become legendary around the Glades. An entire generation of little leaguers have grown up at Mace Park, the youth baseball complex that Bob donated to the City of Belle Glade ten years ago. There are hundreds of examples of what Bob Mace has done in the Glades area over the last three decades to make life brighter for our youngsters and to give them meaningful athletic opportunities. The Robert L. Mace Athletic Center in Glades Day School's McWhorter Hall is a fitting tribute to this gentleman ... his love of sports, his concern for children, and his profound generosity.

The Center that is bemg opened today has a history that will become part of Glades Day School lore. Here it is, for the first time presented publicly ...

For many, many years school officials and parents had dreamed of the day when the hard, concrete floor in our gymnasium might be replaced with a more appropriate athletic surface. However, this·was such a "big ticket" item and the school was always faced with such other pressing demands for capital, that the need of a new gym floor remained just a dream. Then, in the spring of 1994, Carol Schmidt, a former Glades Day School faculty member and wife of GDS basketball coach, Dick Schmidt decided it was time to "take the bull by the horns". Carol proposed a fund raising effort that would consist of contributors buying "squares" of a new gym floor. In this way, she suggested, hundreds of friends of Glades Day School could come together and make this dream a reaiity. A committee was formed to put together a plan of action. Some on that Original committee were Ellen Humphries, Diana Seider, Dick Schmidt, Deborah Altmaa, Gary Crews, Pope McMullen, GDS Headmaster Buddy Sizemore and GDS Athletic Director Tom King.  In May of 1994 the Glades Day School Board of Trustees approved the plan to finance a new hardwood floor selling gym squares. Gary Crews, who at that time was the Gator Booster Club President, became Chairman of the Gym Committee and headed the "squares" campaign. During the next year, as the "gym squares'' effort was getting underway, it became obvious that much more work was needed in the gym to make a new wood floor viable. The old roof was leaking. The heat and humidity levels inside the gym were unacceptable for wood flooring. The stage "issue" had to be resolved. The cost of these new items was quickly making.it apparent that.the gym restoration project was beyond our ability to sell gym squares.

It was at this time that a routine conversation turned into a very significant event in Glades Day School history. One day, during the summer of 1995, Cheryl Goforth Burns, GDS Class of '81, was talking with her friend, Glenda Mikovsky of Okeechobee, about the school's effort to do something with the old gym. Glenda, who has been the office manager for Boh Mace for many years, responded that "Mr. Mace has been thinking about doing something/or the schoof." This conversation was relayed on to the Chairman of the Glades Day School Board of Trustees, Jimmy Herring. Jimmy, himself, had been a long time friend of Bob's and a former teammate on the Mace Sod softball team.

Jimmy immediately went to work to pursue this lead. He asked Gary Crews to prepare a cost estimate on what the complete gym restoration project would  take. Armed with this cost estimate, Chairman Herring approached Mr. Mace about the project, which had now grown to include expansion of locker rooms, a new roof, air-conditioning, and the originai idea of a hardwood floor. Finally, after a lot of details had been worked out, Jimmy Herring announced on June 24, 1996, that Robert L. Mace had donated a quarter of a million dollars to refurbish the gym! This was the last official act of Jimmy Herring as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, a position from which  he resigned in, June of 1996 after eight magnificent years of service to Glades Day School.

At this point the Board of Trustees got busy designing the project. Martha Lynn Weeks was appointed to head a design committee consisting of herself, Trustees Sonny Stein and Gary Crews, and former Trustee Lomax Harrell. Working with architect Dwight Weyent, the final plans were put out to bid. In February of 1997 the Board of Trustees received bids on the gym project and the generai construction contract was awarded to Lutz Builders of Belle Glade. The contract for the wood playing surface was awarded to Trident Surfacing, Inc. of Miami. Construction began in April of 1997. Our new Headmaster Mandy Perez and new Athletic Director Dick Schmidt have done a tremendous job of coordinating the construction and the thousands of decisions that are necessitated by a project of this magnitude. The final project consisted of:

  • A complete new roof and insulation for McWhorter Hall
  • The conversion of the old stage area to male and female coaches' offices.
  • A state-of-the-art training room.
  • A new physical education classroom.
  • The fabulous Gator Room, featuring a concession area and a gallery for athletic trophies and memorabilia.
  • The enlargement and complete refurbishing of both boys and girls locker rooms.
  • The installation of high grade Northern maple hardwood playing surface in the gymnasium. including a cushioned sub floor like that used by the Miami Heat.
  • Retrofitting of the gym bleachers.
  • Air conditioning of the entire McWhorter Hall complex, including the gym area.
  • The creation of a new gym main entrance on the west side of McWhorter Hall, including the refurbishing of both men's and women's restrooms.

During construction of the Robert L. Mace Athletic Center, Glades Day School was blessed with a generous bequest from the late Mildred Larriek. This gift enabled the Board of Trustees to include major additions to our Fine Arts Department, which is adjacent to the Mace Athletic Center in McWhorter Hall. An art classroom and a glee club music room now occupy the space that was once the old cafeteria on the east side of McWhorter Hall. Coupled with the Robert L. Mace Athletic Center, these improvements to the Fine Arts Department will make McWhorter Hall the stunning cornerstone of the GDS campus that it was intended to be.

The students and families that utilize Glades Day School are indebted to so  many people for the fulfillment of this dream. Carol Schmidt, Gary Crews, Jimmy Herring, and all the others who got us where we are today. All of the friends and families of Glades Day School who have purchased and are continuing to purchase. gym "squares". Also. the dozens of folks who have worked so hard during construction. But, on this day, we are especially grateful for Bob Mace. for without him none of this would have been possible. It is with great joy that the Board of Trustees officially declares "Open" the. Robert L. Mace Athletic Center.


Schlechter Stadium for Football

schlechter-rockIn recognition of five decades of unparalleled devotion to Glades Day School,
this facility is hereby dedicated as

Schlechter Stadium

By the Board of Trustees of Glades Day School on behalf of thousands of students who have benefited from the support, generosity, leadership, and encouragement of Johnny and Eleanor Schlechter.

Since 1965, the remarkable partnership of these two legendary Glades Day School fans has inspired celebrated accomplishments, multiple state championships, and unforgettable memories emanating from this site.

Glades Day School, and the entire Glades community, will be forever indebted to J.O. and Eleanor Schlechter.


Homer Hand Field for Baseball


homerhand-rock It is with the deepest appreciation for a lifetime of stalwart service to this community and extraordinary support of Glades Day School that this facility is hereby dedicated as


By the Board of Trustees of Glades Day School on behalf of thousands of students
who have 
benefited from the loving kindness, generosity and encouragement of
Homer Hand and his 
precious wife, Dolly.

Throughout the history of Glades Day School the support of the Hands had made it
possible for students who have passed this way to compete on the
playing fields of life and to 
pursue their dreams.

Glades Day School, and the entire Glades community,
will be forever indebted to 
Homer and Dolly Hand.



Softball Field


Soccer Field


lohmann-scoreboardThe new soccer scoreboard was dedicated December 2018 in memory of Mr. Jerry Lohmann.  

Jerry Richard Lohmann passed away of a heart attack while doing what he loved most, refereeing a high school football game in August of 2013 at the age of 73. Born in Wisconsin, Jerry moved to Florida when he was 18 to attend Stetson University where he was a member of the tennis team.  He graduated from Stetson University with a degree in accounting in 1963 and later married his wife, Shari.  In 1972, Jerry and Shari moved to Belle Glade where he opened and operated his own professional CPA office, Jerry Lohmann, CPA.  

He and his late wife, Shari, had three children: Brian, Paige and Lee, all student athletes and graduates of Glades Day School.  During that time, Jerry and Shari served Glades Day School in many ways. Jerry spent several years as the Booster Club President, and Shari organized the then Halloween Carnival, was a dedicated substitute teacher, and helped plan many team activities for football, basketball and baseball teams, including championship celebrations.

We recognize the Lohmann family’s loyalty and advocacy of Glades Day School, a family that represents high academic standards and certainly a family with a legacy of athleticism. 

Practice Fields


All Varsity Athletic Fields are located on campus. Baseball and soccer scoreboards have been added along with field dedications: Baseball - Homer Hand in 2013 and Soccer - Jerry Lohmann 2018. Other facilities have gone through field maintenance upgrades.