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Whitefish High finishes new gym

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 09:36:49 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 24 2013 10:15:40 PM MDT
WHITEFISH, Mont. -

Few would argue that Whitefish High School is in perfect condition.

"There's mold on the carpets, there's mold on the walls.  All the windows are cracking, they're all warped," said recent Whitefish graduate Jake Slaybaugh.  "You can see it in the ceilings, cracks, actual pieces of the ceiling falling through," said Shane Marcial, also a recent Whitefish High graduate.

Enrollment's down, but it's hoped a new $14 million project will change that.

Whitefish High is looking to keep up with newer schools in the area, like Kalispell's Glacier High.

“Glacier has always been kind of a new age,” said Peter Seymour, another recent graduate of Whitefish High School.  They've had the latest technology and newest books and stuff like that so it had more appeal than whitefish did, so I think this will definitely help with that."

We checked in on the first phase of the project, and found it almost complete.

The gym, locker rooms and fitness facility came from $1 million gift from a nonprofit called Iron Horse Foundation.

It's big change for the little school.

The new $750,000 gym at Whitefish High can hold approximately 2,400 people for a game.

"I look to provide an environment where people want to come and students want to be here and want to participate and have programs and a facility that is top notch,” said Principal Kerry Drown.  “Hopefully one that people are knocking on the door, ready to come in."

Now that the gym is completed, Drown says the attention turns to new classrooms, and with all of this talk about new facilities, he can't wait for students to use it.

“Having this in our backyard and looking at it every day for our students to be looking ahead to is really exciting."

The final phase is expected to be ready for students in the fall of 2014.

"It's definitely going to bring more excitement and students towards us."