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By Susan Wiggins
Tehachapi City Mayor 

New Mojave gym needed

A Page of History

 

January 19, 2019

Susan Wiggins

In my never-ending quest to find articles of my mother Marion Deaver to explore East Kern History, I discovered an old press release put out by the Mojave Faculty Association demanding that a study be done to justify the construction of a new gym for Mojave High School.

This article was written sometime prior to the school district holding a bond election to fund such a new facility. A new gym was funded by the sale of bonds and construction started in 1977, according to an old photo I found online.

When Mojave Elementary School was constructed in 1939 an elementary sized gym was built adjacent to that facility. The high school was not constructed until the late 1950s and a gym was not in the budget at that time.

The old gym-swimming pool building was used by the new high school for P.E. and high school basketball games.

As you know if you read my column on a regular basis, my mother was not much to make sure dates of such events were visible anywhere on the document. This press release was no exception.

Members of the faculty association joined forces with the high school physical education teachers to contact the school board and immediately conduct a study to show that the current smaller gym was not adequate for much of anything.

The faculty group also recommended that immediate action be taken following the study to remedy the problem.

The faculty association claimed in its press release that, "anyone who has recently attended basketball games is aware of the lack of seating."

The writer also claimed that the gym floor was the, "smallest in the league." It was also emphasized that the athletic facilities were the, "laughing stock of the Desert - Inyo League."

The faculty group said that the gym was so small and close to the bleachers that there was, "no room to take the ball out." (But not impossible as I remember).

Perhaps the "sorriest situation" was the locker room facilities. The faculty group stated that the lockers and locker rooms were way too small for the 474 junior high and high school students who used the areas each day during P.E.

The group cited lack of room for weight-lifting equipment. The faculty also found fault with the tennis courts because the courts were in terrible condition. Restrooms in the gym were not adequate for all the students in P.E. and adults who used them during basketball games.

They did not approve of the high school practice field that was "full of holes, which could lead to serious injuries."

The faculty association was not the only group who found fault with the old facilities. The school board agreed to a bond election which was eventually passed, bonds sold and massive construction begun.

That gym stands today just south of the high school and near the football field. That field has been updated and concrete bleachers installed. The "old gym" is used for middle school games.

Looking back on this, I graduated in 1968. We made due with the facilities we had...maybe we didn't realize how inadequate they were.

 
 

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