Dawson ISD's much anticipated new gym has been completed and hosted its first practices and game play this week.
The Lady Bulldogs Junior Varsity and Varsity Volleyball teams took on Axtell Tuesday evening in their new home gym, marking the first game in the new facility.
The district hosted an open house earlier this month to let the public tour the new gym building.
The new gym boasts 22,507 sq. ft. with a spacious gym locker room area and three full-size volleyball and basketball courts made up of one main court and two practice courts with a divider between the two.
This is the third high school gym built within Dawson ISD and it is 37% larger than the district's current gym, with seating for 500 on the home side and 300 for visitors.
Inside the gym is a 2,298 sq. ft. full-size competition stage with top of the line sound and lighting packages.
“Around 300 people showed up for our open house,” Technology Director Cameron Shaw said. “There were lots of 'ohhhh's' and 'ahhhh's', as this was a much larger facility than what we had. The public loved it.”
Dawson's Board of Education President David Matthews cut the ribbon at the new gym as the district's Board of Education and school staff welcomed visitors and enjoyed refreshments.
Dawson ISD voters approved a bond election in the amount of $5.85 million in May 2018 for a new gym and stage for use by all students of the district.
The bond project also allowed for renovations to the locker rooms of the current High School gym and the Elementary School gym, as well as expansion and improvements to the High School Cafe.
Shaw said the district is hopeful that work on the cafeteria will begin in September. The serving line will be replaced and a date for the new flooring will be set so work can take place while the school is closed for a long holiday like winter or summer break.
Construction began in Oct. 2018 and the building was completed for use in the 2019-2020 school year. According to the district, the new facilities and renovations are due to overwhelming growth within the district.