The plan includes a 63,500-square-foot, 4,100-seat gym attached to George Rogers Clark High School and a stadium that will host football, track and soccer events, said Donald Stump, administrative director of operations for the school district.
There’s also space for locker rooms, rest rooms and rooms for coaches underneath the bleachers. The project, which costs about $21 million will be paid for by bonds. The school board spent about $1 million from its general fund to pay for AstroTurf in the stadium, Stump said.
“It’s a pretty impressive facility,” Stump said.
There are several alternate plans, which include lighted tennis courts, additional stadium seating and grading for future athletic facilities. If the school board has money left over after the gym and stadium are built, the alternate plans could be considered.
Stump said the school board will likely approve the construction documents for the facility in August. Once the documents are approved, construction bids can be received. Stump estimated that groundbreaking on the new facility will begin in a few months. Construction will take about 18 months. The gym and the stadium will be built simultaneously.
Eventually, the school board wants to build a field house and practice facilities, but it currently lacks the money to do so, Stump said.
On-site athletic fields has been a goal for the school district since the new school building opened in 2013, Stump said. George Rogers Clark High School’s various sports teams use off-site facilities for their activities, such as the baseball team using the baseball field by Hannah McClure Elementary School, which is about three miles away from the high school.
“It’s really a progression of the high school project that’s uncompleted,” Stump said.
Josh Cook, who coaches boys’ basketball at George Rogers Clark, said he was extremely excited about the new gym, especially since his students get to play in a new state-of-the-art facility.
“It’s definitely going to be something special for our school to have,” he said.
About 1,600 students attend George Rogers Clark. It is the only public high school in the county.