Saalfeld Athletic Center
La Salle celebrates the newly completed Saalfeld Athletic Center
On Saturday, December 5, La Salle welcomed a small group of lead benefactors and Yulefest-to-You participants to preview the newly completed Saalfeld Athletic Center.
This next phase of campus development at La Salle will transform our beloved Brick Oven into a more functional, accessible, and hospitable athletic center. The new space includes an expanded and updated exterior and front entrance, plus new locker rooms, team rooms, gym floor, and fitness center. Additionally, the space houses new athletics administration, teacher, and coach offices, a flexible classroom, and a meeting area. The Saalfeld Athletic Center is now able to better serve all students by enhancing the health and physical education programs and enriching the Falcon fan experience for generations to come.
On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and coaches, we give thanks to the La Salle community for giving so generously to this project and for making the Saalfeld Athletic Performance Center a reality.
“The transformed facility will expand the opportunities our students will have to use physical fitness, health education, and athletics to develop healthy habits, reduce stress, and manage anxiety.”
Matt Winningham, Executive Director/CFO of La Salle Prep
Take home a piece of the old gym floor and help furnish the Saalfeld Athletic Center
We are excited to welcome students into the building, and we need your help to furnish and equip the center! An anonymous alumni family has generously offered to match up to $25,000 in donations from La Salle alumni, so we can put the final touches on the new space. Gifts of any size will be matched between now and March 1.
Contributions will provide funding for a new sound system in the fitness center, eye-catching wall graphics, whiteboards for team rooms and teacher offices, and much-needed concessions equipment.
Don’t miss your chance to take home a piece of the original gym floor! Purchase a commemorative 12” engraved wood slat from the old gym floor and your gift will also be matched dollar-for-dollar.
Questions? Please contact Andrea Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction Video Tour
Construction on the new Saalfeld Atheltic Center has continued in earnest during summer 2020, despite strict coronavirus safety protocols. Take a look at how construction progressed with a video from President Andrew Kuffner. CLICK HERE
Celebrating Our Past, Building for Our Future
La Salle leaders, supporters, and students broke ground on the $5 million Saalfeld Athletic Center on March 3.
The new center will consist of a renovation and expansion of the gym known as the "Brick Oven," and feature new locker rooms, public restrooms, and offices, as well as a new common area, fitness center, hardwood gym floor, and more.
As he stood in the courtyard that will be enclosed and incorporated into the center, Executive Director/CFO Matthew Winningham described the project as “a complete reboot” and "a remodel 53 years in the making.”
"These improvements will better serve all students by enhancing La Salle’s health and PE programs, providing clean and safe locker room environments, and improving the training room and fitness center experience," he said. "We are excited to see this vision come to life. We can hardly wait to watch our students and community embrace the new space while we all wonder what life was like before the Saalfeld Athletic Center."
The center, designed by Studio Petretti Architecture, will be built by Todd Construction and completed in phases starting this fall.
The center will be named for the late Father Lawrence Saalfeld, a longtime Falcon friend and supporter. It was the $1.25 million gift in his memory from the late Elsie Franz Finley that got the ball rolling on the project, said Winningham.
"Elsie's gift gave us the courage to dream big," he said.
The new gym floor will be named after Jack Cleghorn, the legendary coach who led the Falcons to four state titles in the 1980s.
President/Principal Andrew Kuffner started the ceremony by praying for the brothers, sisters, and community who started La Salle, for the school's many supporters, and for "all those who made this day possible," including those who shepherded the school's other renovations and additions over the years.
"And finally," he said, "We ask for blessings on the many generations of students, teachers, coaches, parents and Falcon fans to come. Invisible to us now, but who will benefit from this athletic center and bring the best out in them so that they can bring glory to God."
Features of the Facility
• 3,200 additional square feet
• Improved security
• Increased accessibility
New facilities include:
• Concessions, merchandise, & ticketing space
• Flexible classroom & meeting space
• Training room & fitness center
• Locker rooms & team rooms
• Athletic commons area
• Athletic department offices
• Hardwood gym floor
• Public restrooms
These improvements & new facilities will:
- Encourage student health & wellness
- Improve student safety & well-being
- Provide increased accessibility & circulation
- Expand programs & curricular opportunities
- Encourage participation in athletics
"I love being a La Salle Falcon. In my earliest days I enjoyed watching a variety of games and practices and couldn't wait to wear the uniform and compete in high school. Like so many alumni and current students, I was blessed to have been coached by role models who worked hard to achieve success for their team while simultaneously developing character in their athletes.
Fast forward a few decades and I have the unique privilege of leading our school community to ensure we accomplish these same goals. In an ever-changing society it is comforting to know the mission of our school and purpose of Falcon Athletics remains the same. However, this important work places great demands on our athletic facilities which are in need of a signifi cant overhaul. All La Salle students participate in health and wellness courses and over half participate in athletics, yet we struggle to provide them with adequate space to work and train. The Saalfeld Athletic Center will help us achieve our goal of providing our students, teachers, and coaches with the space they need to achieve success in the classroom, in competition, and in life.
Your support and cooperation to improve our facilities would be transformational, and a blessing to our students, our coaches, and our fans, especially the youngsters who dream of being a Falcon someday.”
- Chris George '97
“The Saalfeld Athletic Center will transform the physical fi tness and athletic development experience for all La Salle students. As a coach and teacher, I witness fi rst-hand the limitations of our current athletic facilities and I am excited about the opportunity to improve this experience for students, teachers, coaches, and fans.
The increased accessibility and effi ciency this new layout provides will positively impact every priority we set out to accomplish for our students, including greater security, increased access to coaches and teachers, clean and safe locker room environments, a larger training room and fi tness center, increased administrative presence, and enhanced curriculum opportunities.
For our athletic programs, the Saalfeld Athletic Center will facilitate our goals to help student-athletes reach their maximum potential as individuals and as teams by elevating the functionality and efficiency of the space. Most importantly, the Saalfeld Athletic Center will be a hub for Falcon Athletics, building upon the already strong sense of community that is the hallmark of La Salle.
Thank you for believing in our students and for supporting them in their eff orts to push their limits and make us all proud to be Falcons!”
- Aaron Hazel '99
Assistant Athletic Director
Head Varsity Football Coach
PE & Math Teacher
“I am excited to hear about the plans for the Saalfeld Athletic Center! These improvements will encourage students to participate in sports and provide a more safe and secure environment for La Salle student-athletes. In addition, this eff ort will support the coaches, staff , and parents that work so hard to help our student-athletes reach their potential.
During my time at La Salle, our team goals included winning state championships. I also had a personal goal to play Division 1 basketball after high school. The Saalfeld Athletic Center will help the next generation of La Salle student-athletes reach their goals, just like I did. Go Falcons!”
- Aleah Goodman '17
OSU Women's Basketball
Take a Virtual Tour
Support the Saalfeld Athletic Center
The Brick Oven serves as a community center for La Salle; a never-ending hub of activity where we gather for games, practices, pep rallies, school assemblies, fundraisers, and community events. Help us provide the improvements necessary to ensure the Brick Oven continues to serve our community for generations to come!
La Salle Booster Club
The Booster Executive Board has committed to a fundraising goal of $100,000 to support the project. $50,000 of that goal will be provided over the next 3 years through ongoing activitie
s the Boosters’ support (memberships, concessions & gate and our annual Steak & Seafood event). The remaining $50,000 is planned to come from direct fundraising activities.
The improvements will directly impact your young athletes via renovated locker rooms and team rooms, a beautiful new fitness center and training room, improved security, accessibility, and circulation throughout the facility, and a new gym floor. By contributing to this important project, you can help ensure your child will enjoy these enhanced facilities next fall!
La Salle Alumni Association
The Alumni Association reached out to Falcon graduates to raise more than $26,000 of its $75,000 gift for the Saalfeld Athletic Center. This generous gift allows the Alumni Association to sponsor the new Athletic Offices in the Center.
La Salle is raising $150,000 to replace the gym’s original hardwood court and rename it after longtime Falcon teacher and basketball coach Jack Cleghorn.Known for his animated coaching style, “The Legend” – as Cleghorn was known by his players – coached basketball at La Salle for 19 seasons between 1977 and 2001. The full-court press and sideline fast break he drilled into his teams served them well; the Falcon boys teams won state titles in 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1986.
Naming the court for 'The Legend'
La Salle is raising $150,000 to replace the gym’s original hardwood court and rename it after longtime Falcon teacher and basketball coach Jack Cleghorn.
Known for his animated coaching style, “The Legend” – as Cleghorn was known by his players – coached basketball at La Salle for 19 seasons between 1977 and 2001. The full-court press and sideline fast break he drilled into his teams served them well; the Falcon boys teams won state titles in 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1986.
In addition to building the teams, the coach created a culture of excellence and pride around the program and school. No matter what your role was with the team – scorekeeper, statistician, or starter – you were important. Falcon fans became so loyal – and rambunctious – they were nicknamed the “zoo.”
“Everyone wanted to be part of this program,” said Mark McLaughlin '82, who played for Cleghorn in the early ‘80s. “The legend had been born.”
The coach’s reputation reached beyond La Salle. Before arriving in Milwaukie, Cleghorn had led Scappoose High School’s boys basketball teams to state titles in 1972 and 1973, earning him induction into the Scappoose Boosters’ Hall of Fame in 1999.
Cleghorn’s varsity boys basketball career win percentage of 84% (455 wins and 86 losses) remains the highest among all Oregon high school boys basketball coaches with more than 200 wins. He’s now #26 on the Oregon All-Time Boys Basketball Coaching Records list kept by Doug Calvert and linked to the Oregon School Activities Association’s website.
Cleghorn’s dominance in La Salle’s gym inspired many Falcon fans to begin referring to their home court as “Cleghorn Court.” School officials are now eager to make the moniker official by having it painted onto the new hardwood floor.
“Jack Cleghorn is an important part of our story and one that we are proud to celebrate with him and his former players,” said Matthew Winningham, La Salle’s Executive Director/CFO.
Cleghorn shares the glory with his athletes.
“My name wouldn’t be going on there if I didn’t have good kids at La Salle,” Cleghorn said. “They made me want to be a better coach every year.”
Cleghorn said he got results because he taught his athletes to work hard, “not play lazy,” and “play with a toughness people can respect.” Decades later, his former players still remember exhausting practices, where the coach would have them run, over and over again, 10 lengths of the court at full speed in less than a minute.
“I pushed my kids extremely hard,” said Cleghorn, “but they know how much I loved them.”
McLaughlin, who was on the 1981 state championship team, wrote that “the genius of Jack” was his ability to adjust his coaching to the needs of his teams and players.
“Some athletes he could ride extremely hard, and others he may say very little or offer more words of encouragement,” he said. “That’s why he was so successful: He could coach all different ways. He always got the best out of ALL his players.”
Father Lawrence Saalfeld
Meet Father Saalfeld
Father Lawrence J. Saalfeld, the namesake of the Saalfeld Athletic Center, was a humble man who delighted in building community, forming young students in their faith, and being present to all he encountered.
“Father Saalfeld had a love of human connection,” said Andrea Burns, La Salle’s Vice President of Foundation and Major Gifts.
Throughout his career, Father Saalfeld focused on the development and education of students, understanding they were the ones to lead our future. During his retirement, he assisted and served on the La Salle Board of Trustees.
As a member of the greater Milwaukie community for more than 32 years, be it as the pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, a mentor to the president of La Salle, or as "Kris Kringle" greeting students in La Salle's halls, Father Saalfeld was noted for his listening ear, wise counsel, and easy smile.
“Once he met you,” said former La Salle President Denise L. Jones, “you were a forever friend.”
Father Saalfeld was also a faithful fan of the Falcons. He loved to cheer for the student-athletes, and was often seen in the top right corner of the Brick oven's bleachers (right behind the players bench), surrounded by friends.
In celebration of Father Saalfeld's commitment to the Catholic faith and education of young people, La Salle Prep names the Saalfeld Athletic Center in his honor. This has been made possible through the generosity and kindness of the late Robert W. Franz and Elsie Franz Finley, who admired and cherished their friendship with this remarkable man.