The Midas Touch: Old gym to mirror new gym in upgrade
As W.S. Neal High School staff and students ready to move into its new home in just a few short days, other construction projects are still in order on the new campus, with one specific project being the old gymnasium.
The old basketball gym, not to be confused with the oldest gym still standing but to be demolished as part of phase two of the construction of the new school, sits adjacent to the newly built school.
Sitting just outside the gym’s worn doors is the newly minted lobby and concession stand.
The renovation of the old gym was not a part of the construction plans in building the new high school said Escambia County School Superintendent John Knott.
On July 21, the Escambia County School Board approved for McKee and Associates to begin renovation projects at WSN High School.
Knott said pads, new bleachers, electrical wiring, new flooring, cleanup of locker rooms and replacing of halogen lights with LED lights will be some of the improvements in renovating the old gym.
“The new lights will give us much better lighting, and we estimate within five years will pay for itself,” Knott said.
Total estimate of the renovation of the gym will be $404,678.
The auditorium of WSN is also getting a new makeover.
“We have to replace the seating,” Knott said. “We can do that at an estimate of $152,000. The project will be bid out in different sections, from roofing to seating. Doing so will allow us to manage cost,” said Knott.
Both projects will be funded out of allocated funds and local funds that total to $560,000. As of now there is no timetable of completion of the gymnasium or auditorium.
Once completely renovated, the gym will serve as the main gym used for regulation games with the new gym constructed with the building of the new high school serving as a facility used for smaller functions, such as team practices.