Cumby’s new gym on track for April 21 grand opening

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Apr. 6, 2007 - It looks like Compass Builders Inc. will make good on their promise to this year's senior class at Cumby High School.

Not only will the new gym be completed in time for graduation, the new facility will be finished more than 2 weeks before the May 1 deadline.

In fact, most of the major work has already been completed with only finishing touch-ups, painting and railing work to be done over the next two weeks, in time for the April 21 grand opening ceremony.

"I think it's gorgeous. It's almost a month ahead of schedule," said CISD Superintendent Bert Vandiver earlier this week.

Although some type of formal invitation will be sent out throughout the community, Vandiver invites everyone to the opening celebration, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 21, at the new building.

The event will include enough free brisket and cake to feed up to 400 people, courtesy of the school and donations from such businesses and Coca-Cola and Sonic.

State Sen. Bob Deuell is scheduled to speak at the event, and the cornerstone will be dedicated by the 2003 worshipful grand master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. The Beta Club is also lending a hand, offering guided tours of the new facility.

Funding for the gym was budgeted in part with $900,000 left over from bonds approved by voters to build the new high school, which is already completed. The bond notes were issued in August and bids accepted making Compass Builders Inc. of Coppell the construction managers and NR Architects of Dallas the architects for the project. The remaining funds for the $2.2 million project will come from a loan issued by Alliance Bank, which the district will pay out at a fixed interest rate over the next 20 years. 

When designing the structure and preparing for construction, Vandiver said the building would be metal instead of concrete, which cost more at the time the project began, with the remaining funds designated for outfitting the insides.

Features include folding bleachers and basketball goals, lighting, heating and cooling systems, and security system, all computerized.

The gym includes two dressing rooms each for girls and boys teams, all designed to accommodate 26 people. The gym also includes a workout room, large concessions area, large lobby and glassed-in viewing windows for filming school events. The retractable bleachers will seat 500 people. The gym floor will be maple and can be covered should chairs be used for events. The concessions area can seat 150 to 200, and will all be encased in tall windows made of thick, sturdy transparent material such as that used for racquetball courts.

The new gym will be used for all indoor athletics events as well as school programs. The old gym, built in 1937, will be used for elementary physical education and other smaller classes.

The  new gym is located next to the administration building, across the street from the new high school facility. 

Wrapping around the new gym is a parking lot designed with 358 parking spaces, a much-needed addition for other school events.

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