Rakoczy Gymnasium is affectionally known on campus as the "Old Gym". It was the home of St. Mary's College Eagle basketball and St. Mary's Preparatory Eaglet basketball until Dombrowski Fieldhouse was built in 1973. Built more than a century ago in the 1880s as a gymnasium for the cadets attending the Michigan Military Academy, the sturdy structure underwent a complete overhaul in the Spring of 1995.
The gym has a history of multiple uses. When the Orchard Lake Schools purchased the military academy property in 1909, the gym served as a dormitory. Over the years it has been a backdrop for banquets, concerts, plays, commencement exercises, intramural sports, and a whole host of activities. A stage was added in 1953. Known formally until 1996 as the Campus Auditorium Gymnasium, the building is one of the original ten constructed by the Michigan Military Academy recently designated as a state historical site.
The "Old Gym" was named in honor of Rev. John J. Rakoczy (Prep '44, College '47), on Homecomng, September 21, 1996. Fr. Rakoczy (1925-1994) was an outstanding athlete at St. Mary's, and had great success later as a coach. His Eaglet teams won five league titles in football, 11 league titles, one Catholic League C-D championship, 11 state district trophies, one state regional title, and one trip to the state semifinals in basketball; and six league pennants in baseball. He was named to the Catholic High School League Hall of Fame as a coach in 1977, and to the St. Mary's Preparatory Wall of Fame as an athlete in 1990.