L.A. Thomas Memorial Gymnasium
Center St. W
Kimberly, Idaho 83341
Twin Falls County
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For nearly 70 years many people probably drove past this high school gym in Kimberly without even realizing it, as it doesn't look like most other high school gyms. As an article written for the Magic Valley News said, "It looks more like an abandoned prison than a place you would want to send your children for P.E. class." The multipurpose building was approved as a Works Project Administration project in November 1941, just before Pearl Harbor was attacked. Financial restrictions due to the war halted the project, because manpower, materials and machinery were being directed toward war efforts. The school district continued to use the gym. The interior still looked like a gym from the 1940s, but the exterior looked a little bit like an abandoned building, until recently. The gymnasium had most of the needed materials but lacked people and equipment. Renovations to the windows alone would cost about the same as it did to construct the whole building in the early 1940s, $73,000. But the community of Kimberly rallied behind the project to finish off and update the historic structure based on the architect's original plans and drawings. The school district worked with CTA architects to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning, make ADA-compliant restrooms, install exterior stucco, replace sidewalks, and make general repairs. Notably, they completed the exterior of the building following the original architects drawings and plans, leaving the glassed in interior lobby the raw concrete to pay homage to the building as the community has known it for the past 70 years. Preservation Idaho is proud to honor this project, Scott Roberts with CTA Group and Luke Schroeder, Superintendent, with an 2016 Orchid Award for Contribution to Historic Preservation. Accepting the award during the 39th Annual Orchids and Onions Awards Luncheon was Luke Schroeder of the Kimberly School District
Building submitted by Preservation Idaho