EL PASO, Texas -- The Bel Air Highlanders are now utilizing one of the newest athletic complexes in the city, thanks to a voter-approved bond.
The Bel Air Athletics Complex officially opened its doors for students several weeks ago. It is a tri-level complex with state-of-the-art equipment for athletes with basketball and volleyball courts, weight training and fitness area and gyms designated for gymnastics, dance, and wrestling areas.
The $32 million, 98,000 square-foot complex took 20 months to build thanks to the Ysleta Independent School District's $430.5 million voter-approved bond from 2015.
“(It’s) very innovative, very cutting edge, that will allow all of the students the opportunity for the growth mindset we’ve established here at Bel Air and the Ysleta district,” said Rob Diber, head boys varsity basketball coach.
The heart of the complex is the gymnasium named after his mother, Carroll Dibler. Carroll Dibler was a former Bel Air High School teacher who was tragically killed years ago.
“One word about her is 'caring'," Dibler said about his late mother. "She just cared for her students here like they were her own. It's been very heartfelt that the new gym is keeping her name.”
“I think (the complex is) perfect timing," said Bel Air High School Principal Charles Garcia. "I think it will benefit not just the athletes but the entire student body."
Students tell ABC-7 they feel like the complex is long overdue. "I'm glad Bel Air got its opportunity to have something new,” said Senior Maria Rivera.
Bel Air High School has been around since the late 1950s. The complex is giving students the opportunity to train across all of their athletic programs.
“To see the students light up and really embrace this facility and really get excited about it makes it all worth while,” Dibler said.
YISD and Bel Air will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, Feb. 17. at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
Up next, the main campus is expected to undergo renovations thanks to a voter-approved bond from 2019.