Millennium High's new $16.2 million gym is envy of the West Valley – The Arizona Republic

It has all the bells and whistles. The bright lights. The seating. The space. And it’s about to become a big attraction in the West Valley.
Goodyear Millennium High School elected to spend bond money on building a new state-of-the-art, all-purpose gym that has both a boys and girls team room, a huge weight room, a hall of fame section, three regulation-sized basketball courts all next to each other, a big Diamond Vision, and a tunnel through which players will be able enter in a purple haze with a smoke machine in pre-game.
Marc Beasley, who runs Monarch Sports, which puts on high school tournaments in the Valley, recently took a tour of the complex. He invited me to come along. What we saw was mind-blowing.
Athletic Director Remigio Gordillo and boys basketball coach Ty Amundsen were our tour guides.
It took an hour to see everything. It would be hard pressed to find another high school gym in the Valley that comes close to what Millennium has.
The gym, which has a seating capacity of a little more than 2,400, was built where the old freshman softball field was (that has since been relocated on campus) is ready to go. Ground breaking for the 45,000-square-foot, multipurpose facility in Goodyear off of Wigwam Boulevard began March 2021. The project cost $16.25 million.
The former main gym will always be an option.
But what is being called the Rise and Roar Center now becomes the campus jewel.
On Thursday, the school is holding Senior Honors Night in the new facility.
The Monarch Sports’ Lady X girls basketball tournament — a premier summer event for girls — will be played there in June as the first big event.
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“This is just a small example of the types of things that weren’t feasible in the past, due to the limitation of our previously available space,” said former Millennium girls basketball coach Kevin Thomas, who is now an administrator at the school.
In late June, the Fear The Roar tournament for grade-school through high school kids. In July, there will be a three day skills camp run by Phil Handy for third through 12th graders.
Basketball players can’t wait to get in there. 
Earlier this month, the school had an assembly in the new gym with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 
Gordillo said the school is considering giving the students the opportunity to name the gym in a contest.
During the ribbon cutting, businessmen showed interest. The school, it appears, would be open to a naming right for the gym.
With such luxury there is going to be envy. Gordillo says he has heard other schools now calling them “the University of Millennium.”
When Canyon View became the newest school Agua Fria Union High School District, opening off the 303 in Waddell a few years ago, that campus was state of the art. It blew away others in the district.
After what they saw Canyon View build, the Millennium mentality was to build the most modern, state-of-the-art gymnasium, Gordillo said.
It not only has three courts in the same space, but baseline seating, a tunnel leading to the locker rooms, a new weight room that leads to an outside turf field, the boys and girls team rooms, plenty of flat-screen TVs, including four in the training room.
This came out of the 2019 bond through voters that paid for the facility.
A bond committee was created that wasn’t just coaches giving input on the design and what they wanted to see. There was a fine arts portion, so that was included. 
“Everybody put their input in, and the architects saw that and put a price tag to it,” Gordillo said. “Whatever we wanted to cut, we’d cut. Then we created a design.”
Gordillo believes building the best should be the mentality for every school in the district when it is given money to spend.
“It’s going to be the biggest and the best,” Gordillo said. 
But it won’t just be for sports. Homeowners association meetings, as well as art shows will be among things for the community. It will be used to rent out functions in the community.
“Having a facility of this size offers a great deal of value,” Thomas said. “The high school will benefit from having one of the best in-game and practice environments in the state.  The student section, in conjunction with the band and multiple programs who perform in the gym, will create an environment conducive to building a sense of comradery and excitement for MHS activities. 
“Millennium has been fortunate to have wide-ranging successes in performing arts, athletics, and academics, and a facility like this allows for the expansion of celebrations, performance spaces, and fundraising opportunities.  Dance, band, theatre, student council and student events, community events and club activities, all could be held in the new facility.”
Amundsen said he likes where the gym is located, deep inside the campus, because it looks like a park with baseball and football and basketball all on the same side.
Basketball has been big at Millennium. The girls team has won four consecutive state championships and the boys teams always is in contention to win a title. 
“We are so excited to be practicing and playing in the best gym in the Valley,” Amundsen said. “It’s unique, big and has all the features a small college would have.
“The plan was well thought out and the design is beautiful. We are definitely blessed.”
Volleyball is another sport that will play in the new gym. The Millennium girls volleyball teams won state titles in 2020 and 2018 in 5A.
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“For both girls and boys volleyball, we are excited to have the space to run our own West-side showcase. Many tournaments in the past have been East-side dominant and (this) will allow for teams to visit and compete in a new venue,” said  boys volleyball coach Shawn Brannick. “We are also excited at the prospect of having state championships being held at Millennium and allow students to see the impressive facilities the district has been so kind to offer.”
At the entrance are the big purple letters TIGER PRIDE that lights up at night.
In the lobby, the Tigers will start a Hall of Fame section that likely will include DaRon Holmes and Justus Jackson, who led the Tigers to back-to-back 5A state final appearances when they were sophomores and juniors.
There are pictures of Holmes and Jackson on the wall in the gym, along with pictures of top girls players, including Raina Perez, who led North Carolina State to a deep NCAA Tournament run last season.
There is a trophy case in the lobby that is so long that it would take decades of championships for the Tigers to fill it all.
There are video scoreboards and a shot clock above each basket. The Arizona Interscholastic Association will be implementing the shot clock next season for the first time in boys and girls basketball.
It is set up for strobe lights to give the pregame an extra jolt of excitement for the players.
The new wrestling room is twice as big as what the school has had. On on wall, it says in big bold capital letters, “HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN’T WORK HARD.”
There is a huge equipment room to hang uniforms. The teams room still need the custom theater seating to be installed.
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But it’s all state of the art, the kind of place that will allow the community to showcase a variety of events.
“For both girls and boys volleyball, we are excited to have the space to run our own Westside showcase,” boys volleyball coach Shawn Brannick said. “Many tournaments in the past have been Eastside dominant and will allow for teams to visit and compete in a new venue.
“We are also excited at the prospect of having state championships being held at Millennium and allow students to see the impressive facilities the district has been so kind to offer.”
To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.
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