A new auxiliary gym is under construction at White Pine High School

Kay Lynn Roberts-McMurray A new gym is under construction at White Pine High School

Kay Lynn Roberts-McMurray
A new gym is under construction at White Pine High School

along with a new wing that will house the health sciences program, according to district superintendent Adam Young.

Funding for the $3.7 million gym comes from a bond issue approved by voters in 2008 which could only be used on capital improvements. Young said the school board held several meetings in late 2015 and early this year to determine what would be done with the money that had accrued.

“Through the course of those deliberations, they decided to go in this direction,” he said.

The construction should be completed by spring. Young said the gym will provide scheduling relief for the many teams that occupy the main gym, such as volleyball, boys and girls basketball and wrestling.

“It will have a standard-sized gym floor, but not the same seating capacity,” Young said. “It will hold about 200-300 spectators, where the current gym holds about 1,100. We will use it for PE classes during the day and for practices in the afternoon and evenings.”

The district will use the remainder of the bond funds on the following projects: repairs to white pine high school track; sidewalks are being added that hadn’t been finished; repairs to east side of the high school building; repairs on east wing of White Pine Middle School; resealing the roof at the middle school; replacing all the windows at David E. Norman Elementary; and replacing the water pump and heater at Lund.

The construction of the 5,228-square-foot new health sciences wing comes from a $2 million donation from the Reno-based Pennington Foundation. It will include classrooms, labs and a nursing office.

“Our health sciences program at the high school has been very successful through the years,” Young said. “This has been a great stepping stone for many of our students. (The new wing) will be a community training center, hospital and Great Basin College will all be able to come in and train their folks.”

The Pennington Foundation has previously donated $25,000 to the district for its sim-man computer model for the health sciences program, so they had familiarity with the school and the program. Also, one of its board members is Rick Danis, who grew up in White Pine County.

“The foundation gives away hundreds of millions of dollars,” Young said.