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Paso High to open new gym 

Paso Robles High School is just weeks from opening a second gym facility on campus.   Photo by Paula McCambridge

Paso Robles High School is just weeks from opening a second gym facility on campus. Photo by Paula McCambridge

Second structure features gym, weight room and life-fitness center

After more than a year of construction, a 14,000-square-foot training gym, fitness room and weight room are just weeks away from opening to students at Paso Robles High School.

The 8,133-square-foot gym features six basketball hoops and is a training facility.   Photo by Paula McCambridge

The 8,133-square-foot gym features six basketball hoops and is a training facility. Photo by Paula McCambridge

The structure is the final project funded by Measure T, a $20 million bond and property-tax increase passed by voters in November 2006. The bond was matched by state funds, allowing around $40 million of improvements at the high school over the past nine years.

The new facility, which is a collection of three training rooms, cost in the neighborhood of $3.3 million and will support students in physical education, performing arts and school athletics. During the summer, athletes train in a small weight room that sits behind the new structure, and they are looking forward to the larger room and new equipment.

“It’s going to be a lot roomier with better weights, which is good because we’re here about five or six hours a day training,” said PRHS Sophomore Phillip Portillo who is in junior varsity football.

Scheduling athletic practices in one gym has been a challenge for the district, requiring some students to come in at 6 a.m. and others practicing until 10 p.m. That will all change, said Principal Randy Nelson.

PRHS Principal Randy Nelson and District Construction Manager Joe Iffert talk in the new gym training facility that will be open before the 2015-16 school year.    Photo by Paula McCambridge

PRHS Principal Randy Nelson and District Construction Manager Joe Iffert talk in the new gym training facility that will be open before the 2015-16 school year. Photo by Paula McCambridge

“What it does is, it allows more than one level of practice at a time, so students aren’t here at all hours,” Nelson said. “It’s great anytime you can provide additional facilities for students. That’s our job to optimize students’ time and abilities — this gives me great pleasure.”

Joe Iffert is the district construction manager who has overseen the gym project.

Iffert said the high standards demanded in school construction makes the structure long-lasting.

“School facilities are built to a much higher standard that residential or even business, that this building could last hundreds of years,” he said. “It’s made from tilt-up construction, which are concrete walls constructed on the ground with lots of reinforcement — rebar and other reinforcement components — then the whole wall is lifted up and welded together. It’s like a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.”

Other improvements paid for with Measure T money have included an agriculture building with classrooms and labs, permanent classrooms that replaced portables, an extension at Liberty High School for independent study, and conversion of the activity center into a 400-500 seat performing arts center.

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