WENATCHEE — WestSide High School opened its new building only a month ago, but there are already plans to expand the school, thanks to an anonymous donor.
The amount and who it’s from hasn’t been specified, but the donation would be used to build a gym at the newly remodeled school, said WestSide Principal Kory Kalahar.
The district raised $4 million to swap land with Wenatchee Valley College and renovate the college’s former music and art building. The building was originally constructed as an Eagles Lodge. Students moved into the remodeled building last month. It doesn’t have a gym, so students now walk across Ninth Street to their former campus for P.E. classes.
The new donation would be in memory of the late Charlie Reynolds, who served as a counselor and intervention specialist at WestSide during the final years of his long employment with the Wenatchee School District. He retired in 1994. Kalahar said the offer was made by a friend of the late counselor. The amount has yet to be specified so it’s still unknown how much of the cost of the gym it would cover and how much the school still has to raise to start the project, he said.
What is known is that the school wants to build a gymnasium with a full-size basketball court, bleachers, a fitness room and a classroom for health instruction. Kalahar said the Wenatchee School District already has the shell of the gym. Wenatchee businessman John McQuaig donated the steel structure that formerly housed the auxiliary Wenatchee Ice Rink at the foot of Fifth Street. It’s now in storage.
Architects have estimated it will take another $1.5 million to build the foundation and inside of the building, Kalahar said. The gym would be added to the north side of the school.
If enough money is raised, Kalahar said there’s also a plan to build an addition on the west side of the school for two science classrooms that are now held in portable classrooms.
“It’s a great plan, but it could be a year away, or four or five years away. We’re not sure,” he said.
In the meantime, construction crews will soon begin framing in a 40-foot-by-40-foot pole building for a temporary health and fitness classroom. The building was used by the WVC art department for large projects and later for equipment storage.