Cameron Park Sports

Ponderosa starts new year with new gym

By December 29, 2010

NEW GYMNASIUM — assistant principal Darrin Slojkowski shows the written plans for the newly completed gym renovation at Ponderosa High School. Mother Lode News photo by Shelly Thorene

NEW GYMNASIUM — assistant principal Darrin Slojkowski shows the written plans for the newly completed gym renovation at Ponderosa High School. Mother Lode News photo by Shelly Thorene

SHINGLE SPRINGS — It’s got curb appeal, grandiosity and loads of amenities. It’s also centrally located — smack in the middle of the school’s campus. Yes, Ponderosa High’s newly reconfigured gym is the jewel of the Delta River League.

Thanks to Measure Q (passed by voters in 2008), improvements were implemented in two phases — the first was the Bruins’ new synthetic turf football field and accompanying track that debuted last fall.

This summer and fall the gym was remodeled and work was also done to the school’s wrestling room, weight room and theater. The work was completed just in time for the completely renovated gym to shine with boys and girls basketball and wrestling seasons underway.

Construction began immediately when school let out last summer and was finished just in time for the Lady Bruins to host El Dorado and christen their new gym with a victory over their arch rivals. Ponderosa’s volleyball teams played their fall season at Oak Ridge.

“Given all the things that can happen in a construction project with delays and everything, you hope for the best and it (finish date) was pretty accurate,” Bruin Assistant Principal Darrin Slojkowski said. “Considering that people were working on top of one another, everything came together really well.”

With prior experience developing high school gymnasiums, Slojkowski served as Ponderosa’s site liaison with Carter Kelly Inc., the contractor he credits for “pulling it together;” and California Design West, the architect. Slojkowski also worked closely with El Dorado Union High School District Facilities director Patty McClellan whose department oversees new school construction, existing school and district project modernization/renovation and facilities master planning.

There are plenty of differences. The biggest is the basketball court, whose baselines originally were on the north and south ends of the gym but now are east to west. To accommodate the change, the west wall was torn down and 3,000 additional square feet were added. The seating capacity in the beautiful pine bleachers was increased from 800 to nearly 1,300.

Gone is the gym’s old feel — Mr. Loken of the math department calling games from the sixth row of the bleachers, the small, cramped scorer’s table occupying the first row of seats, the leaky roof and the make-due utility-table snack bar tucked in the corner. Now the atmosphere is state-of-the-art and Mr. Loken, the scorekeeper and reporters have cushy seats at the soon-to-arrive new scorer/press table. If the hunger or thirst bug bites, those dashing to the newly constructed snack bar won’t miss any of the action thanks to a soon-to-be installed flat screen TV mounted to the wall compliments of boys basketball coach Andy Beal.

Also on its way for the inside of the gym is another new scoreboard and a logo for the wall.

The gym will see its first action of 2011 on Jan. 5 when the wrestling team hosts Jesuit in a dual meet and on Jan. 6 when the girls basketball team entertains Franklin.

Jerry Heinzer


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