LA VERNE, California, November 2, 2017 — Not everybody was at the Dodger game on Wednesday. A few stayed home in La Verne to watch the official ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the new Ramona Middle School gymnasium, a 15,445-square-foot facility built for $6.5 million.
Funding for the two-year project, which can seat up to 1,424 people and accommodate a standing room capacity of 2,000 people, became available when voters approved two bond measures C ($54 million) in 2004 and AB ($84 million) in 2008.
“I appreciate everything the voters have done for us,” said Glenn Creiman, Bonita Unified School District Board District President.
Culver City-based Rachlin Partners designed the gym in collaboration with structural engineer R.M.Byrd & Associates.
Distinguishing features of the new facility include a porcelain-clad entrance and a high open-framed truss ceiling spanning 120 feet with steel pipes. Louvered windows also allow natural light to fill the interior space, which will reduce the need for artificial light.
The design was created as a gateway or intersection connecting the academics and athletics aspects of the campus,” said Rachlin Project Manager Rudy Monico.
For the official ribbon cutting, new Ramona principal James Ellis handed off the scissors to former Ramona principal Anne Neal, whose 10-year tenure included the 2015 groundbreaking.
After several acknowledgements recognizing school board officials, city council members, state of California representatives, the district bond oversight committee, and other assorted dignitaries and leading citizens, Ellis invited guests to pour into the new gym and even take a few shots at one of the basketball hoops if they came wearing their tennis shoes.
“Man, I hope they open up the gym for lunch, especially during hot days,” said Kevin, a Ramona 7th grader.
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It was a perfect opening on a picture-perfect day. The Ramona jazz band played, and visitors seemed truly awed by the impressive structure.
About the only things missing were championship banners to hang from the rafters.
But in time, they’ll come.