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Posted on Nov 11, 2017

New gymnasium opens at Pioneer Elementary

It’s official, no more cafetoriums.
A massive pair of scissors the size of a small child put an end to the era of cafeterias and P.E. classes taking time away from each other in Quincy School District elementary schools.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 3 at Pioneer Elementary was the last of three gym openings within the school district, following those at George and Mountain View Elementary schools.

From the left, school board member Chris Baumgartner, Principal Alesha Porter, Superintendent John Boyd, school board member Joseph James and Pioneer P.E. teacher Andy Harris cut the ribbon and officially open the new gymnasium.
Photo by Sebastian Moraga/Post-Register

“What a gift to the community and what a gift from the community,” Quincy schools superintendent John Boyd said.
Joseph James, a member of the Quincy School District’s board of directors, thanked the community for its support, and encouraged the youngest members of the community to make this gym their own.
“It’s just exciting, seeing the kids enjoy the gym,” he said, later adding that the new gym will allow for a more relaxed environment during lunch hours as well as a longer P.E. period, with the cafeteria and the gym no longer in the same space.
This will also allow programs such as AAU basketball to have more places to play. And the same goes for indoor soccer and for baseball teams in the days when snow still covers the outdoor fields.
“This is great for the community, not just the school, but the community,” James said.
Pioneer principal Alesha Porter said AAU basketball has been using the gym every night already.
“We are going to be able to have games here, AAU games, which is awesome, because before, we were only able to play in Moses Lake,” Porter said.
Children from Pioneer or simply from the neighborhood wasted no time shooting hoops with the adults, or using the climbing wall, sliding around or simply bouncing a ball around.
Cari Pelayo, a parent of triplet students at Pioneer Elementary School, said the children had been talking nonstop about the new gym, at home and at school.
One of the adults playing around with the elated children was Andy Harris, who was pretty happy himself. The head coach of the Quincy High School baseball team is a P.E. teacher at Pioneer as well as the son of Tom Harris, the district’s facilities director, so this was a double celebration for him.
“We go from a small cafeteria space to a gigantic gymnasium,” he said. “I’m super excited and thankful for the superintendent, John Boyd, and I have to give credit to my dad, too, and the school board, and all those guys who worked so hard to get us a new high school and a new gym.”
The old gym was all right, but the hoops were too tall for some of the youngest students, and one of the hoops was broken. Now the baskets’ height is adjustable, and there is more room to run around.
“We made it work there, and the kids had fun,” Harris said of the old gym, “But I’m really glad they were willing to do this for the community and the school and the kids.”
The next ribbon-cutting will occur in the fall of 2018, when Ancient Lakes Elementary School opens at the current site of Quincy Junior High School.

By Sebastian Moraga,

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