Dunsmuir High School students responded with awe and appreciation when they viewed their school’s completed gymnasium upgrade Monday morning after winter break.

“This is for you,” Principal/Superintendent Ray Kellar told the students during a brief address. He explained that it had been nearly 50 years since the DHS gym had been improved or received any attention.

Kellar told the students how much they are valued and gave a short message about how the students can have pride in their school and everything it offers. He said he doubts any other school’s gymnasium could rival what the Tigers now have.

Kellar said the project cost approximately $50,000, and was paid for “out of the general reserve fund.”

The first high school in Dunsmuir, according to Kellar, opened in 1911, in a house downtown. A new school building was built in 1920, on the site of the current DHS campus. It wasn’t until more than 50 years later that the high school was remodeled and modernized in 1972. Since then, the current facility had been completely remodeled, with the exception of the gymnasium.

Other than annual gym floor maintenance, and some necessary roof repairs, Kellar said nothing else had been done to improve or upgrade the gym since 1972.

The new gym make-over included a complete paint job in the school’s colors, black and orange. The old dilapidated acoustical tile ceiling was repaired and painted black. And the old blue wall mats have all been replaced with modern black wall mats that now cover a wider area for improved safety.

The overall effect of the competed project is a night-and-day difference compared to what it was.

The students were stunned by the transformation. Senior student-athlete Kaitlyn Edwards said, “I think it looks so good! Our (gym) ceiling used to look like it was going to cave in; but, WOW! This is so nice! It looks so much bigger!”

Evan Freeman, a senior and center for the Tigers basketball team, agreed, saying, “...WAY nicer! 10 times nicer!... Dude, I can’t wait for practice tonight!”

Pleased with the finished project, Kellar said, “Yeah, it definitely turned out pretty cool.”

The gym will be open for public view during the basketball game this Thursday, Jan. 10, against the McCloud Loggers. The frosh-soph boys game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and will be followed by the varsity boys game.