Even though school doesn’t start for a couple of months, the excitement level at Truman High School is off the charts.

Even though school doesn’t start for a couple of months, the excitement level at Truman High School is off the charts.

That’s because an “embarrassing” second gym has been demolished and a new gym/band room is taking its place.

Although no time has been set for the completion of the new structure, activities director Eric Holm and principal Kristel Barr believe it will add a touch of class and pride to the 46-year-old high school.

“We’re so excited,” said Holm, who has a layout of the new building on the desk in his office. “Let’s be honest – the old gymnasium was embarrassing. I’ll admit it, we tried to schedule some events at away sites because we didn’t want fans coming to Truman to watch a game in that gym.”

It had no air conditioning, it had a few rows of portable bleachers and pilot lights in heaters that hung from the ceiling had to be lit to provide heat in the winter.

“I had an argument with one woman,” Holm said, chuckling, “who wanted to know why we wouldn’t turn the air conditioning on in the gym. I told her we didn’t have air conditioning and she said, ‘Then what’s that up there?’”

She was pointing to the antiquated heaters on the ceiling.

“I told her they were heaters, and to this day I’m sure she doesn’t believe me,” Holm said.

The new structure will be home to a gymnasium that will seat 226 fans on the north side and 184 on the south, a 79x60-foot band room that will comfortably hold up to 200 band members and two ample storage areas.

“Oh, and we can’t forget,” added Holm, “it will also have bathrooms. The other gym didn’t even have bathrooms.”

The gym will run east and west, parallel to the existing gymnasium. The lobby will be on the east side of the gym and the band and storage rooms will be on the north side.

“We have such great band and orchestra programs, and our band just outgrew its area across from the (existing) gym,” Barr said as she toured the old band room. “Getting the new band room was essential. It will give the students a real sense of pride.”

She said the new facility will also be used by the community.

“We’ll play Independence Youth Activity Association (IYAA) games in the new gym, and parents and players will really be pleased when they see the new gym,” Barr added.

Holm said Truman would only lose about 25 parking places on a permanent basis, but that the students and faculty would lose more parking places on a temporary basis during construction.