Press Release - 3-29-2023

Excitement & Progress: Eureka High School’s New Gym Nears Completion
Posted on 03/29/2023
March 29, 2023 - Eureka, CA - It’s been a long time coming but the highly anticipated 40,000 sq. ft. brand-new Eureka High School gymnasium is cruising at a steady pace toward an estimated midsummer 2023 completion date.

“Think about the phenomenon of a brand new facility, it’s going to have a shine on the floor and on the walls and our students are going to get to take advantage of the most beautiful athletic facility in all of Northern California,” said Omar Khattab, Eureka High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

The facade has developed its character, the restrooms and locker rooms are complete, the main court floor is almost finished being laid, and the flag poles just went up! It’s these weekly developments that have staff and students beaming with excitement and envisioning what this new gym will bring when they finally get to step on the court.

Elijah Griffin is an EHS Junior and a member of the wrestling team. He says, “I think you're a product of your environment and I think having good facilities will facilitate good practices, good energy, and lead to good performance in games.”

“I feel like playing in the old gym there's a bunch of memories and everyone's played there, but now having a new gym I’m excited because we get to create those first memories and it will be super cool to experience that,” said EHS Sophomore and girls basketball player, Mallorie Beauchamp.

Once complete the new facility will have a regulation basketball and volleyball competition court with retractable seating for more than 1,200 spectators. 

“I'm hoping for the atmosphere to be really good with the fans,” said Maia Hales, EHS Junior and girls basketball player. “I think the community will come together just even for the opening day or the first game that's played in here, which is really exciting and I think it will boost our confidence a lot.”

When it’s sports practice or physical education class time, the bleachers can be retracted and a mid-court curtain can roll down creating two full-size basketball courts. Plus there’s the auxiliary gym which will serve as the wrestling room, with the flexibility to be utilized as an additional court along with many other uses for physical activities.

“What we’re really excited about are the differences between this gym and the existing gym that we have right now. One of the things that's always been a challenge is practice in the wintertime for basketball teams. When we field up to six different teams - between the girls and the boys basketball teams - practice time and court time becomes prime. So what happens is, a lot of the students get pushed out into the late evenings or the very early mornings. Now with the flexibility of this new gymnasium we can actually have three full basketball courts inside of the gym, to have that practice and to really condense that amount of practice time, to get students home with their families. That's going to be a huge benefit as we start to use this gym,” said Eureka City Schools Superintendent, Fred Van Vleck.

There’s a dedicated weight room - which every athlete dreams of, student locker rooms - each with showers and restrooms, coaches' offices, a training room, and storage for athletic equipment.

“It will serve both our students and our athletes in that regard, as well as an opportunity for the rest of the community to use the gymnasium,” said Paul Ziegler, Assistant Superintendent Business Services. “We were very mindful of that when we were bringing this together that it's not just our own use but we'll be able to serve other youth throughout the community as well”

Khattab adds, “The community here has a lot of youth leagues and a lot of youth sports that are really a pipeline into our school. So having kids actually become familiar with our brand new facility is going to really lend to the pride that those students are going to have when they step foot on the campus to be high school students.”

This new gym will not only benefit students, the community and its generations to come but it serves as a testament to our community’s commitment to wanting the best for our youth; Including but not limited to input and direction for the gym’s design and the passing of Measure S, the $49.75 million bond that paved the way to make this project possible. 

Van Vleck says, “This is what we built with a good portion of those dollars and so this is something the community can be proud of, something the school can be proud of, and certainly build that Logger pride amongst our students.”

That’s not all, The foyer for the gym is large enough to accommodate up to 240 people, complete with a concession stand to support booster club fundraising. 

Logger alumni might be excited about these nostalgic additions. When you walk in the new gym foyer the original wood ‘E’ from the Jay Willard Gym will be the floor centerpiece, and that legendary Logger statue will make his way from the former gym to stand tall in the foyer as well. So get ready Eureka because the new Jay Willard Gymnasium will very soon be opening its doors to welcome you! 

The overall Jay Willard Gymnasium project will be constructed in four phases and the completion of the new gym is just phase one. The following phases will be abatement of hazardous materials from the current facility, demolition of the current gymnasium, and last construction of a new parking lot.

You can see the full video story complete with current facility footage and a construction timelapse which spans from June 2021 to March 2023 here: Excitement & Progress - Eureka High New Gymnasium 2023

Make sure to subscribe to the Eureka City Schools YouTube page and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with all District news. 


Press Contact:
Sierra Speer Dillon
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Eureka City Schools
[email protected]
Tel: 707-441-3373