“This was a 20 year journey. It took a lot of time and effort to get us to where we are today. There are a lot of people to thank for making this dream come true,” said Virgin Valley High School Principal Cliff Hughes as he welcomed students, parents and the community to the school’s shining new $8 million gym.
Hughes recounted how Grant Hanevold of Moapa Valley provided inspiration and advice to Virgin Valley High School as both rural schools struggled to take their place alongside the urban high schools in Clark County with adequate facilities for both male and female athletes.
After cutting a ceremonial green ribbon on Tuesday evening, Hughes and student body president Taylor Waite led the excited crowd into the beautiful new gym. The VVHS band played pep songs and cheerleaders did a dance routine as the crowd of about 200 people took their seats on the sleek new Bulldog green and white bleachers. The crowd rose as a gigantic American flag was unfurled and the VVHS choir sang the National Anthem.
Hughes was effusive in his praise of individuals in the community who attended countless Clark County School District meetings in pursuit of their goal of securing bond funds for the gym. He thanked Core Construction, KGA Architects, the City of Mesquite, Overton Power District #5, Virgin Valley Water District, and the tireless parent-citizen groups who were so instrumental and diligent in making the facility a reality.
Mesquite businesses and individuals have been extremely generous in helping outfit the bare-walls building funded by CCSD. It is the people of the community who paid for the $70,000 electronic scoreboard and many other essentials that make this a functioning, modern school facility. Hughes called Joe Bowler and Rich Bowler to the floor to be recognized for spearheading a fundraising drive that raised thousands of dollars from alums, businesses, and individuals of the valley. Recognition plaques fabricated by the VVHS woodcraft class were presented to the major contributors in attendance. Commemorative paver bricks can still be purchased by the public to help put finishing touches on the building.
To initiate the new basketball court, Hughes called for the oldest VVHS graduates in the crowd to shoot a free throw. Eugene Hughes, Class of 1959, missed his opportunity to make the first score, but Joe Bowler, Class of 1960, sunk his third shot and the crowd wildly cheered approval of the alumni athletes and the new VVHS gym.
The physical plant of the gym is impressive and well appointed. Prior to entering the gym, visitors and fans will walk on bricks donated by members and youth of the community. The bricks form a VV in the courtyard. Those interested in purchasing a brick can contact the school at 702-346-2780.
The entry foyer will includes a huge concession stand, bathrooms with a trophy case and hanging TV’s in the future. In addition to three full basketball courts, the facility includes a weight room, individual team meeting rooms with film review capability. The facility is attached to the old gym making egress to both easy.
The first game in the gym will be on Jan. 18 against Del Sol High School.