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Lewis Center breaks ground on long-awaited gym

December 18, 2012

By Cheryl Thompson
THE LEWIS CENTER

Students, staff and guests were bundled with coats and blankets, but the cold couldn't chill the excited hearts as the Lewis Center for Educational Research broke ground Wednesday on a gymnasium for the Academy for Academic Excellence.

For the past 15 years students have been wishing for a gym to exercise, play sports, and meet inside, out of inclement weather, said founder and President/CEO Rick Piercy.

Gordon Soholt, principal of the K-12 public charter school, recounted how the school first moved onto the Mojave River Campus 12 years ago.

“Hearing all the rumors throughout the years of one day having a gym made today that much more meaningful,” said 11th-grade student Jordan Bean. “It was an honor to cheer on our newest accomplishment. We are so grateful.”

Just before noon, students streamed onto the basketball court and the surrounding area where the new gym will be built. The Air Force JROTC presented the colors and the national anthem was performed by the AAE band. The AAE Knights Varsity Cheer team was accompanied by AAE third and fourth grade cheer team.

The groundbreaking shovels were painted with school colors and letters spelling out the school mascot, Knights, and one with the school logo. Included with the staff and Foundation Board Chairman Bud Biggs, was the Associated Student Body President Nick Monte, and Air Force JROTC Cadet Commander, Ashley Bergstrom breaking ground with the colorful shovels.

Facilities Manager Darren Dowd stepped up to big yellow backhoe with a jackhammer attached. As the crowd counted down, Dowd broke into the concrete slab that will be removed for the new gym, causing a chorus of cheers.

“It is so exciting that we are finally getting a gym,” said senior Christine Khoury. It'll be a great opportunity for our athletic programs to expand and now we'll have our own facilities we can use.”

All construction will be performed by companies and workers in the High Desert.

The school is offering various sizes of bricks to help finance the inside of the gym. For information, click on https://lcer.engravedbricks.com or call (760) 946-5414 ext. 201. For more information about the Lewis Center and the AAE visit www.lewiscenter.org.

Cheryl Thompson is a Lewis Center staff member.