POLSON — Almost four years ago during a bad winter storm, the roof of Polson's Linderman Elementary School gym caved in.
It was just a year later in 2019 that school officials decided to demolish what was left and rebuild.
We paid a visit to the construction site last summer where not even the walls or floors were finished.
But Friday when MTN News returned to Polson where a lot has changed.
It was the day the community had been waiting for – an open house at the new and improved facility.
“I am very, very excited and ready to get people back into this gym,” noted Polson School District Director of Maintenace Dan Giles.
The new gym won’t just be put to use by Polson elementary school but by the entire community.
“Primarily basketball, boys and girls. But also, other curricular activities voting, girls camps, boys camps during the summers,” Giles explained.
The 3½ year construction was definitely no easy task, according to Giles.
“It was an interesting process considering we have many buildings around us that we found underneath the ground, so trying to go around that and it was a challenging project, to say the least.”
“They again attached it so this hallway leads to that so students going to assemblies and so forth can pass through without going outside,” a janitor told MTN News.
Bruce Thomas who was the head girls' basketball coach and assistant for the men's team said calling the place he called home for over 28 years was a hard concept for him to grasp.
"It was tough because I played basketball here in the seventh grade, all the way through high school. My family -- we are big basketball supporters. My sister and my cousins were cheerleaders. So, I mean this gym meant a lot to our family history, Thomas said.
However, he’s excited for the community to begin a new story in the Linderman Gymnasium, which can seat over 2,000 people.
“I love the way it is decorated and lots of room for fans and it will give them a chance to start making their own legends,” Thomas said.