EL CENTROÂ – Years of holding physical education classes at McCabe Elementary School District under an unrelenting sun are over after the ribbon cutting that heralded the school’s new gym was held during Thursday’s Back to School Night.
Parents and faculty members got a preview at the soft opening of the brand new gym with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the building on the Corfman Junior High School side of McCabe.
The gym was paid for with bond money from Measure G in 2015. McCabe Principal Armando Lopez said it has taken close to a year to complete construction.
â€œWeâ€™re beyond excited for our kids to start using it,â€ said Lopez.
The new gym comes equipped with a basketball court, lockers, and two classrooms. The facility does not have showers. Prior to the gym construction, physical ed classes were held outside in the heat. There were no lockers or proper changing rooms, so students had to change in the bathrooms. Now that it is finished, PE teachers Bryce Brown and Janelle Cabanas are eager for what the future holds for the physical education program.
“We are really excited about all the activities we are going to be able to do inside the gym, not even mentioning all the capabilities we have with athletics,” said Brown.
Cabanas said the gym will allow McCabe’s PE program to be run the way it is supposed to run.
“It is a long time coming and our students definitely deserve it,” said Cabanas. “It’s going to change our program for them quite a bit.”
Lopez said students have been eagerly watching construction progress and this weekÂ were asking when it would be open to them.
â€œI was like ‘About time!’ when I heard about it,â€ said eighth grade student Jacob Beltran, who has experienced a year of PE without an air conditioned gym. â€œItâ€™s El Centro, the heat is bad. Itâ€™s going to be much better with the A/C.â€
â€œAll the time it was so hot, yet we would still be outside,â€ said Sarahi Mendoza, a seventh grader. â€œI am definitely looking forward to it and itâ€™s going to be awesome!â€
The construction for the Corfman half of the school was funded in 2004 through critical hardship monies, according to board member Judy Tagg, and it was opened after roughly five years as a junior high for seventhÂ and eighthÂ grades. Tagg said a gym was not included in the original construction, so the school would not be built at the cost of taxpayers. According to Tagg, it took three tries for Measure G to go through.
â€œWhat started out as a vision, turned into a mission, and is now a reality,â€ said McCabe Superintendent Laura Dubbe.
The school will receive the keys to the building next week, and start having PE classes soon inside the building, according to Lopez.