Linden gym construction underway

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2008

LINDEN &8212; Renovation and repair work has begun at the Linden High School gym this week, but there are still a few things that will not be going in by the facility&8217;s expected completion date of Dec. 15.

At the June 4 Linden City Council meeting, Councilman William Curry proposed a financial partnership between the city and the board of education to cover the cost of some additional renovations for the gym, including a new air conditioning system. At Tuesday&8217;s meeting, however, that proposal again went unanswered.

He said he and fellow council member Mitzi Gates would be doing additional research to see how the city could help the project in the future. But for now, the $140,000 required for the air conditioning was too much for the city&8217;s budget, Curry said.

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Superintendent Scott Collier said the board of education had 30 days to accept any additional bid items after they accepted the base bid on May 27. Since that window of opportunity has passed, Collier said they are just looking to complete the projects already underway.

The building, which is more than 40 years old, underwent some work several years ago to brace parts of the sagging faade. The new plans for renovation &8212; to the tune of $850,000 &8212; will remove the braces, tear out the stage area and expand the gym floor&8217;s area out to the existing wall, which will double the amount of bleacher seats.

Collier said the current facility is simply not adequate for their needs.

Both home basketball games and the high school&8217;s graduation are constantly overcrowded. The concession stand area now is simply a drink cooler with a table out front.

The renovated facility will have a front lobby area that will have a full concession area along with full bathrooms.