School, district and county leaders cut a ceremonial purple and gold ribbon and then were able to tour Whale Branch Early College High School’s new competition gymnasium on Friday.
Prior to the new gym’s opening, Whale Branch was the only high school in the district that did not have a competition and a practice gym.
Since the school opened in 2011, its four basketball teams have practiced and played their interscholastic games in one small gymnasium, leading to practices that lasted well into the night. Wrestling matches were also held in the gym, leading to shortened or cancelled basketball practices.
Construction also is in the final stages for Whale Branch’s new performing arts-style auditorium for student performances and classes. Parents and community supporters had urged the district to build the addition since the high school opened six years ago. That facility is expected to open in the spring of 2019.
“The new addition to Whale Branch has been a long time coming,” said Superintendent Herbert Berg. “The school pride within this community is amazing.”
Principal Mona Lise Dickson and board members welcomed about 60 staff and community guests.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Dickson said. “This is a great day today where a wrong has been corrected for Warrior Nation and our Whale Branch community.”