The months-long renovation of Pasco High School's main gym is done, meaning the sports teams that spent last season practicing and playing at other schools can move back in.
"My basketball teams want to use it tomorrow," said Athletic Director Le Burns.
They'll probably have to wait until next week. Then they'll be able to run laps and shoot hoops in the newly remodeled space.
The overhaul was needed because cracks were found last year in the roof's aging wooden trusses. The roof problem was discovered after crews found ceiling tiles out of place while working on the gym floor, which was damaged when a sprinkler flooded.
The new gym floor has a large bulldog painted in the middle in honor of Pasco High's mascot. There also is an updated sound system, brighter lights and new purple bleachers with "PHS" in white on the front.
The athletic office also has been moved near the gym. It used to be on the other side of the school.
The gym project cost about $3.25 million. It's being paid for with money the district saved as it completed projects from an $83.4 million bond approved by voters in 2006. The major bond projects were the construction of Chiawana High School on the west side of town and an extensive remodel of Pasco High.
The district also had enough money from the bond to expand the boys locker room at Pasco High, a project that's under way now and is scheduled to be done by winter break. The girls locker room was upgraded during a previous construction project.
The gym and locker room projects aren't the only ones keeping district officials busy this summer.
Crews also are repairing sidewalks, working on fences and painting at district schools. And some portable classrooms are being installed to help the district manage its student enrollment growth.
The district has gained 5,600 new students since 2000, enough to fill nine elementary schools.
"Our student growth is an issue we're going to continue dealing with, keeping in mind to provide the best education opportunities we possibly can," said John Morgan, executive director of operations.
Part of that means preparing for the future. The district is doing planning work for a possible new elementary school, middle school and the relocation of New Horizons High School, Morgan said. The projects would be paid for by a future bond measure.
"We're doing some planning so that when, and if, a future bond is passed we can (get moving) right away," Morgan said.
Construction on the gym renovation started last year. The contractor was Lydig Construction.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org