Wildwood Days, speeder cars, and the Scotia Gym

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Wildwood Days will be in full force this weekend with activities for the whole family in Rio Dell. Not only will there be street activities, food, and games, but neighbors from Scotia will be on hand working hard to save the Scotia gym. Located in the Rio Dell Elementary School field next to the Wildwood Days carnival, the Timber Heritage Association has teamed up with "Save the Scotia Gym" organization with speeder rides.

Speeder runs will be available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wildwood Days. Rides will be a direct fundraiser for the Scotia gym with tickets for adults $5 and children $3.

Recently a board of directors was formed to work with the Scotia Elementary School to get the gym up and running again for the community and the school in the long run. A past Scotia school superintendent asked the now executive director of "Save the Scotia Gym," Nick Angeloff, to form a non-profit to save the gym.

"We are now a public benefit corporation in the state of California serving the sole purpose of re-opening the Scotia gym and pool to the residents of the Eel River Valley," Angeloff said. "We are working with the new superintendent, have a bank account and have filed our Federal papers to become a non-profit 501(c)(3)."

"The goal is to open up the Scotia gym initially to the public with fundraising, state funding support for the school, and then create an endowment for future maintenance of the pool and gym for the school," Angeloff said.

The goal does not come cheap and will take a lot of hard work and community support.

"It will take $80,000 in equipment, $80,000 in labor, and an additional $160,000 in soft costs and contingencies to get the gym open to the public which is our initial goal," Angeloff said. "The Scotia gym and pool is an icon of the Eel River Valley. Many people in the community have fond memories of their time in the gym, from learning to swim to basketball games to cheerleading."

Due to the bankruptcy of Pacific Lumber Co. and the re-organization of the company town, the power plant was eventually sold to Greenleaf Power and in 2012 they restructured its business to sell power to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Previously, the power was sold to Scotia residents and the school.

"Both the gym and pool were heated by steam provided by the power plant," Angeloff said. "While the school was able to substitute tank less hot water heaters, they could not afford to convert the gym and pool."

The hope is that with so many talented workers in the area, when it comes time to do the labor there will be some room to cut costs. There is much to be done and many children to be served by this endeavor.

If you would like to get more information about helping with labor or donations you can contact "Save the Scotia Gym" on Facebook, visit www.savescotiagym.org, or call Nick Angeloff at 407-6205.