Everett High’s new gym will save a bit of the old

Everett High School’s gym will undergo a major renovation project that starts next week, with $10.1 million of top-to-bottom improvements.

“The biggest thing is the building space itself will be used more efficiently,” said Robert Polk, the school district’s athletic director. This includes eliminating some of the hallways that take away from functional space, he said.

The project will keep key pieces of the current gym as reminders of its history, such as using some of the wood in the old wooden bleachers for trim in the remodeled gym, Polk said.

The basketball court’s blue-and-gold centercourt logo, with the words “School of Champions,” dating from 1980, will be incorporated into the main entrance.

The school district also hopes to restore a 1940s clock and scoreboard to display in the concession stand, Polk said.

Once the remodeling is complete, the public will enter the gym on the second level and walk down to their seats. “Currently, you come in from the upper level, go down some stairs and then back up to the bleachers to find your seat,” Polk said.

The north portion of the gym was built in the late 1960s and the south portion was opened in 1980.

Improvements also will be made to the gym’s roof and to its heating, electrical and plumbing systems. Structural improvements will be made so the building can better withstand earthquakes.

The construction will be scheduled in phases, with the north end of the building closed in early November.

“Our main gym will be available through March, so we’ll be able to host basketball games and wrestling matches,” Polk said.

There will be some disruptions to school activities, including physical education and sports while the project is under way, said Mary Waggoner, school district spokeswoman.

That includes closing some parts of the gym and relocating some activities, such as moving the weight room, to some unused space in the high school’s vocational building.

Space in the basement of the Everett Civic Auditorium across the street from the high school will be used for two temporary locker rooms, she said.

Temporary fitness rooms will be housed in the high school’s vocational building.

Wrestling practices will take place in Sequoia High School’s gym. Meets will be scheduled in parts of the Everett High School gym that aren’t under construction.

“We think enough of the construction will be done by November 2013 that basketball practice can begin in the Everett High School gym, Waggoner said.

The construction also will affect a number of community groups that use the gym, weight room and wrestling room, including Everett’s Parks and Recreation Department, Everett Hoop Club, Snohomish County’s Finest Basketball, Special Olympics and the Everett Wrestling Club and the Everett Elks.

All construction work is expected to be completed by December 2013.

Everett High School has an enrollment of 1,407 students.

The high school’s gym is one of the construction projects paid for through the school district’s 2006 capital improvement bond.

The winning bid of $10.1 million was submitted by Commercial Structures, Inc., based in Burien.

Other costs, including state sales tax, design and permit fees and furniture and equipment charges, bring the total cost of the project to $14.6 million.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

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