Spend the day with North High School's athletic director Brian Huens and it's hard not to feel his passion. "We're all just very excited to see it completed," he said.
He's been waiting long enough. Construction on the Stars' new gymnasium has been in the works for all five years he's been at the school.
While the construction continues inside and out, the design is starting to take shape. Thursday morning glass panels were placed around the new trophy cases inside the gym's front entrance. A massive new concession stand sits on the west end of the gym facing Eliades Field. New restrooms with more than 20 stalls in both the men's and women's restrooms give the venue a big feel. "If there's a line for these restrooms then we'll definitely have a big crowd on our hands," Huens said.
But the Stars' crown jewel is inside. Basketball hoops are already set up inside the gym and the three full length courts will be surrounded by close to 2,500 seats upon completion. "It feels more like the Icardo Center," Huens said.
The gym will be the biggest the Kern High School District has ever built. North's "star" logo is prevalent throughout with two massive images on the East and West walls. Racing stripes trail the stars as an homage to '94 grad Kevin Harvick.
A pride in their history, a pride Huens and the administration are hoping to bring back to the community. "(It) just gives our kids a place that they want to be. That they want to play," he said. "(Hopefully it can) make North High a bigger part of Oildale once again and even Bakersfield."
— Stephen Hicks (@StephenHicks23) July 6, 2017
Construction remains on track with the goal of opening for a basketball game just after Thanksgiving.
Pending board approval the basketball court will be named after Lloyd Williams, a lifelong teacher and baseball/basketball coach at the school who affectionately earned the nickname "Mr. North High."
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