Out With The Old, In With The New

<p>New Eisenhower Gym</p>

New Eisenhower Gym

"It's really big and kind of intimidating actually..."

Those were the first thoughts Leah Shannon had, touring the brand new Eisenhower High School building.

Shannon is a student documenting the crews adding final touches to the facility.

For the senior, it's a dynamic change in scenery, compared to her last three years at the old building.

"There was really no artwork in the school, and you could tell it had a lot of years on it," said Shannon, "I know a lot of that had to do with the students and how they treated the old school."

All of that has changed -- two years and about $110 million later, students and staff now have a building 30% larger than the old Ike, equipped with an expanded gymnasium, polished classrooms, and a state-of-the-art auditorium.

The building is also wired from top to bottom with the latest in technology, to help students in their studies.

"They'll feel more connected with their teachers, and it might give them an opportunity to maybe be a little bit more proactive in their education," said math instructor Ryan Froula.

The facility is built to house 2,400 students, 1,900 will be coming in next week; it's the first time they'll be under one roof since being split into portables years ago.

"The students [will] feel like they really have a place that they can come and be a part of," said Construction and Planning Principal Jim Wright, "Students will want to come here and stay here throughout the day."

"I really hope that they learn to appreciate the school that we are attending," said Shannon, "I mean, it's free, it's a privilege to be here, and I hope all the students understand that."

The Yakima School District will have a dedication ceremony for the new high school in October -- Governor Jay Inslee has been asked to attend that ceremony.