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Students, Trustees Break Ground For New RHS Gym
Hefting shovels painted in school colors of silver and maroon, Riverbank Unified School District trustees, staff and students joined architects and contractors in breaking ground for the new $11.3 million Riverbank High gymnasium on Thursday.

Board President Ron Peterson recalled the bond to finance the gym passed at the third try, mainly thanks to the efforts of the students who both worked the telephones at the Galaxy Theater campaign headquarters and went door to door seeking residents' support.

"It's been a long time coming. But every other gym will be compared with this one. It's something the students deserve. We should be proud of them," he said.

Peterson has previously noted the existing gym built as part of Riverbank High in 1967 was too small for the school before it was finished. He later spent years coaching basketball in that same cramped gym.

"It's very important for all the students including the elementary grades," added Superintendent of Schools Joe Galindo.

"Each of us played a large part," said RHS Student Body President Janet Reece. "The students can't wait until next year when the gym will open. It will be a great addition. We are so excited the district made it happen."

Countering Galindo's joking remark he'd heard it would take only six months to build, general contractor Bob Brayton of Escalon emphasized construction will take at least a year.

"We did Hughson, Hilmar, Calaveras and Sierra High," he said. "Hilmar was the biggest. But this will set the standard. It will be state of the art.