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New CHS gym looks great, but...

On Tuesday, Claremont High School officials unveiled the school’s newly overhauled main gym—almost.

Scheduled to coincide with the first Palomares League game for both boys and girls basketball, the remodeled gym makes a stunning first impression with its bright lights, comfortable bleachers and shiny new floors. Behind the scenes, however, much work still needs to be done.

The work, funded by money from Measure G, began last summer and forced closure of the gym the entire fall semester. However, restrooms adjacent to the gym have not been renovated and the much-anticipated air conditioning system has yet to be installed.

The work on the restrooms should be completed in a few weeks and the air conditioning will be finished in the spring, according to CHS Principal Brett O’Connor.

Mr. O’Connor indicated there would be no further closures of the gym,       because the HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) work will be       conducted mostly on the roof of the building.

The renovation process started 10 months ago when Claremont Unified School District officials submitted plans to the Division of State Architects (DSA). Since then, they have resubmitted plans to DSA two more times.

“They gave us a long list of things we need to do to get the main project approved, which was the HVAC,” said Rick Cota, executive director of CUSD service center.

Many of the improvements required by DSA involved making the gym and restrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which required all the doors of the gym to be replaced, including the mechanisms and thresholds.

The restrooms will be gutted and brought up to ADA code, including lowering the counter tops and drinking fountains. The new restrooms will mirror the appearance to those in the school’s new theater.

“The only thing that stays the same is the walls,” Mr. Cota said.

The district wants to install four 20-ton HVAC units on the gym roof at an estimated cost of $650,000. Mr. Cota said it is a long process requiring numerous inspections and structural improvements to ensure the existing roof and walls can take the additional load.

The bleachers cost $228,000, flooring $140,000 and restrooms $225,000. The district had to upgrade the electrical at a cost of $35,000 and there was an additional $75,000 for inspections, testing of materials and application fees to DSA.

An official rededication event will be scheduled for some point this spring when the work is completed.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com