Excitement filled the air at J.B.Pennington High School on Sunday, Nov. 8, when a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the multi-purpose building that replaced the old gym destroyed by fire in March 2017. Plans for the new building, which is a gym and cafeteria, actually began five years ago. That plan was delayed somewhat when the old building was destroyed.
More than 100 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.Assistant superintendent Chris Lakey said, “It was a good day.”
Upon entering the new building, you will find concession stands and trophy cases which hold artifacts from years gone by: a piece of the original staircase, old uniforms and pictures, and a piece of the floor from the old gym. This memorabilia was incorporated into the new cases not only to display them, but also to help people hold onto the memories.
According to Lakey, the lunchroom is a state-of-the-art design offering a cafeteria-style setting with booths for students to enjoy their meals.The back portion of the building holds locker rooms for basketball players and PE students. Students began using the facility for the first time on Nov. 11.
Unless cancelled due to COVID-19, J.B. Pennington will host both the junior varsity and varsity Blount County Basketball Tournaments in December and January.The junior varsity tournament is scheduled for Dec. 12, 14, and 17, and the varsity tournament is slated for Jan. 18-23. Lakey said these tournaments will be a great time to showcase the new facility.