ETHAN-Extra gym space is coming to Ethan High School.

The school is nearing completion on a $2.5 million project that includes a new auxiliary gym, locker rooms and air conditioning.

Ethan Athletic Director Tim Hawkins said the school was in need of extra gym space across all levels of basketball, while also factoring in the demand for air conditioning at the school.

"It was also tied in with the fact that we wanted to air condition our school finally and we decided since we were going to do that, that maybe we could tie the whole project together," Hawkins said. "So that's kind of what brought it together."

The auxiliary gym is just south of the current gymnasium. They are the same dimensions, while the auxiliary gym has five rows of bleachers on one side. It's also equipped with six basketball hoops, along with two new sets of locker rooms in between the gyms.

Hawkins said the biggest benefit of the new auxiliary gym will be during doubleheaders. They'll be able to start the games later and play the junior varsity games at the same time.

"We used to have to start at four in the afternoon," Hawkins said. "Which meant when teams came from, let's say Kimball/White Lake, James Valley Christian, they were going to have to get out of school early. Now we can take those same doubleheaders, start them a little bit later and actually we won't be in the gym as long and it will shorten up the nights for those kids. Hopefully it's going to get them on the road and home a little bit earlier, as well."

Same with practice time. The Rustler basketball teams will be able to practice at the same time, as opposed to one team right after school and the other to follow afterward.

"There's been many times where the girls or the guys have had to practice from 6 until 8 at night," Hawkins said. "Now we are just going to be able to go right after school, get our kids home earlier and give them more time to work on homework and just relax for the rest of the evening."

Hawkins said junior high games will be able to be played, while another team will be able to practice at the same time. The youth basketball teams will also benefit from the extra gym space.

"Some parents have third and fourth grade teams that travel around and play basketball," Hawkins said. "So it's going to open up more practice time for them. They will be able to use it pretty much anytime they want, whereas in the past usually they had to come in on a weekend or they had to come in when both our boys and girls games were on the road."