Ector students return to school, but gym's future remains uncertain

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ECTOR, TX -- School is back in session for the first time in almost a month, after campus had to be evacuated because of damage sustained during last month's ice storm.

The weight of the ice bent the support beams in the gym, putting it at risk of collapse. Engineers told school officials a gym collapse could impact surrounding buildings, which is why campus had to evacuate, superintendent Gary Bohannon said.

Engineers spent a week re-enforcing the gym's structure - a temporary fix, but it keeps the building safe.

"They started work on shoring the gym up the Monday after Christmas. And then they finished work January 2," Bohannon said.

The school won't hear back from the insurance company for another few weeks, Bohannon said.

But regardless, the school will have to use Bells and Whitewright's gyms to play its home basketball games.

"Dodd City, Honey Grove, Bonham and Trenton also contacted us and offered to let us use their facilities," Bohannon said.

And Athletic Director Terry Johnson said those are just a few of the schools that offered to help.

"Texoma in general, this whole area, is really a family oriented place," Johnson said.

It's an adjustment though for basketball players like Timothy Ayers. But he and his teammates - along with school officials - say it's a humbling experience to see how quickly neighboring schools jumped in to help.

"I think it's extremely nice of them, because they're our competitors at some point. And they just let us come in and use their gym for our home," Ayers said.

The junior high building was damaged as well. But Bohannon said it was all superficial damage. They made a few minor repairs, making the building is safe for use, he said.

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