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Altus Christian Academy builds new gym

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) -For 10 years, students at Altus Christian Academy have had a tough time playing sports, and even taking PE.
They had to play in the parking lot, or carpool to a nearby gym, because they didn't have one.
Until now.

A brand new gym opened in September, complete with a basketball court and soon, room to play volleyball too. It's been two years in the making.
We got our first look inside today, and its really nice! It's been a labor of love for parents and volunteers in Altus, and the students are thrilled.

Watching the Oklahoma City Thunder and playing basketball is one of Abi Beane's favorite sports, but she wasn't able to practice much at school with no indoor court or baskets to shoot.

That all changed when a couple of parents and volunteer coaches decided to raise money and build this 250 thousand dollar gym.. Abi was so excited the first day she saw the court when it opened a few weeks ago.

"Now, it's really, really nice that whenever it's cold, we can still stay in here instead of inside the building and have a nice place to play," said Beane.

Kory Kirby, a father and volunteer coach says he spent almost every weekend since April at the gym with other volunteers building and putting the court. He says seeing how happy the kids are is worth all the hard work and 2 years of planning.

"I remember the first day we came in here, they were just bouncing off the walls and didn't want to leave, but that's almost every day," said Kirby. "We're practicing and when practice is over, they want to play a game or keep shooting or whatever, we just enjoy that."

Kyle Martin's  been working hard to stay in shape and get ready for basketball season. Playing inside the gym during PE is his favorite part of his day.

"We do like relay races," said Martin. "We do workouts and run around and have fun."

Amy Abernathy, a volunteer coach and one of the people who first came up with the idea to build a gym, felt called to do this.

"It's just a blessing to see this come together and and see the kids in here enjoying exactly what they need to be doing, staying healthy and fit," said Abernathy.

There's still some work to do, like hanging scoreboard, setting up the bleachers, and painting the court. 

"It shows that the people in this community and the surrounding areas, that they care, not only about the Christian school, ACA, but about the kids," said Kirby."It really shows people, the donors, that they want to see them succeed."

The school stills need about $30,000 for restrooms and a concessions stand in the gym. Altus Christian Academy had the most students from a small school to run in the Spirit of Survival Kids Marathon, so they won a $500 grant for the gym.

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