LANCASTER — Endeavour Middle School, you have your gymnasium.
More than two years after its official groundbreaking ceremony the 11-year-old school’s approximately 700 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, along with the teachers, administrators past and present, and Lancaster School District officials celebrated completion of the gymnasium with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“In a few short hours the students sitting here to my right will fill these four walls with squeaking shoes, whistles, buzzers, voice raised in cheers and jeers, and laughter,” Endeavour Principal Cheri Newlander said.
The gymnasium occupies 18,200 square feet of the 27,170-square-foot building. There is a standard basketball court and two practice courts. Parts of the building opened last year for student use, including the girls and boys locker rooms, a music room and a multipurpose room. The gymnasium itself was delayed in part because the basketball backstops needed the Division of the State Architect approval.
Endeavour’s gym is equipped with LED lighting, a large screen, and a projector. The building cost about $6 million to construct, not including the Division of State Architect fees, engineering fees, and other costs such as furniture. The District built the building with money from Measure L, the $63 million bond measure approved in 2012 by Lancaster voters.
“We are very, very proud of the entire facility,” Lancaster School District Superintendent Michele Bowers said.
Music director John Asti led Endeavour’s Raven band in a performance, followed by the school choir singing the national anthem.
“This has been a long time coming on the school Board. We here have been waiting for this for years, years and years,” Lancaster School District governing Board President Keith Giles said.
Endeavour eighth grader Carolina Diaz, who serves as ASB vice president, and is Teen Miss Rancho Vista, also addressed her fellow students.
“I cannot believe that today is the day that this gym will finally be opened,” Carolina said.
Endeavour physical education teacher Don Limpus started at the school about 10 years ago.
“We’re very excited to finally have the gymnasium; looking forward to using it next year,” Limpus said.
Beginning with the 2019-20 school year Endeavour’s basketball and volleyball teams will have their first home games.
“All of our games are away, which makes it difficult because kids get used to playing in their gym. So I’m very happy that they will be able to do that now,” Limpus said.
Seventh grader Layla Davis, 13, who plays volleyball and basketball, is looking forward to using the gymnasium.
“I feel it’s really nice. I feel like we’ll have a really good time and, like, good memories using it,” Layla said, adding she is looking forward to her first home game.
Local field representatives Donna Hill and Glenna McKie, from state Sen. Scott Wilk’s office and Assemlyman Tom Lackey’s offices, respectively, presented certificates of recognition to Newlander in honor of the new gymnasium.