A Joyful Return to Upper Lake High School

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Senator Nielsen was thrilled to visit Upper Lake High School, in Lake County, which was part of Senate District 4 during his tenure in the State Senate in the 1970s and 80s. During that time, Upper Lake High School’s gymnasium was in a state of massive disrepair, but was not eligible for State Allocation Board funding because the building was still considered “structurally sound” despite unsafe conditions. 

Over the next few years, working with the State Allocation Board,  great progress was made to allow school facilities, like the Upper Lake High School’s gymnasium, to become eligible for funding. Upper Lake, and many schools throughout the state, now have the opportunity to construct school facilities utilizing State Allocation Board funding. 

Upper Lake’s gymnasium was completed in 1988 and I have not been there since its grand opening. Upper Lake’s Principal, Annie Pivniksa-Petrie, was a standout basketball player, helping to lead the Cougars to three North Coast Section Championship victories, and having her number retired. Her daughter now follows in her footsteps on the same girls’ basketball team. 

Generations of student athletes have made this gymnasium their home, suffering blistering defeats and reveling in victories. The entire community values this gymnasium for more than just local sports, and it has been a pillar in the community for the last 33 years. It was Senator Nielsen’s  honor to be welcomed back to Upper Lake and named co-captain of the boys’ basketball team for the night.