BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - North High had a lot to celebrate Monday night with the opening of the school's new gymnasium.
Nearly six years in the making, the gym is now said to be the largest in the Kern High School District.
The North High Girls Varsity Basketball team played the first game ever on the school's brand new court, named in honor of Lloyd Williams.
Fans young and old attended the game, full of Stars pride.
"It's a historic night for North High School. We're so excited to be opening this new gymnasium," said Mark Balch, North High Principal.
"Videos and pictures didn't do very well for it. Seeing it in real life is what makes it giant. It's awesome," said Cheyanne Waite, a freshman at North High.
The opening of the nearly $12 million state of the art gym was a moment students, staff, alumni and the Oildale community had been waiting for.
"This has been at least four to six years in development," Balch said.
After so much time it seemed everyone was eager for the first game.
"I was a student here at North High School and we never had anything this nice when I was a student. I'm so grateful to our board and to our community for supporting this effort. It's just a really exciting night for us all," Balch said.
The gym has three full size basketball courts and is the only fully air conditioned gym in the district.
It can seat more than 2000 fans, fans like former North High teacher Lenore Morgan.
"I'm very proud. I love North High. It was some of the happiest years of my life," Lenore Morgan said.
Morgan taught at North for forty-one years.
She's a Star through and through.
So loyal a fan, in fact, that Morgan spent her ninetieth birthday on Monday celebrating the new gym, joined by hundreds of others.
It was a successful start to a lifetime of new memories for the North High Stars.
"I am very excited. I can't wait. There's so many benefits here at North High that I can't wait to try," Waite said.
The North High girls basketball team won the inaugural game against Centennial 45- 38.
The North High boys basketball team lost 100-64 to Centennial.
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