With construction projects under way at the Kofa High School campus, a new design for the planned gymnasium was developed to allow students to continue using the existing gym for athletic activities and classes.
The new gym was originally designed to take the place of the current gym, which would have been demolished, leaving students without a facility to hold athletics, said Dave Folsom, construction consultant to the Yuma Union High School District.
But architects were asked to redesign the plans and came up with one that allows construction of the new gym to go up around the old gym, Folsom explained.
"To not have a gym for a year and half would have been pretty devastating to our school," said Gina Thompson, Kofa principal. "A high school gym is a classroom space every day, it's not just a playing field in the evenings."
The new gym will have a full-size competition gym, a dance room, boys and girls sports and physical education class locker rooms, a center court hallway, bathrooms and a weight room, Folsom said.
Features and size of the new design are "pretty much" the same as the original one, with the main change being the layout of the building, Folsom said.
Some minor site projects such sidewalks, paving and landscaping were changed to fit them into the budget, he said.
No new classrooms were eliminated with the changes, and only "some" storage rooms will need to be moved, Thompson said.
Although Thompson did not recall the first design exactly, she said some building footage may have been trimmed. But "it's still going to be bigger and more efficient than what we currently have."
Once the new 33,000-square-foot building is ready and functioning, the old gym will be demolished and made into a parking lot, Folsom said.
Construction for the project will begin in the spring of next year and is expected to be completed a year ahead of schedule.
The gym was planned for 2010 but will be done "at least a year ahead of time," Folsom said.
"The most important thing is that they were able to help us keep our programs up and running for the school year," Thompson said.